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Intel launches third-generation Core 'Ivy Bridge' processors

Intel has launched its Ivy Bridge processor, officially known as third-generation Core.

Intel has launched its Ivy Bridge processor, officially known as third-generation Core.

(Credit: Intel)

Continuing with the Core i3, i5 and i7 nomenclature, the more power-efficient chip is built on a 22 nanometre (nm) process, and is notable for its increased graphics performance compared to its previous processor architecture, codenamed Sandy Bridge. The included Intel HD Graphics 4000 silicon is a DirectX 11 part, meaning that for the first time in a long time, Intel has supported the latest version of Microsoft's standard.

Third generation Core is the first Intel architecture to use "tri-gate" 3D transistors, which Intel claims allows for plenty of head room and will satisfy Moore's law for "years to come".

Tri-gate 3D transistors, compared to earlier planar transistors. (Credit: Intel)

The first run of compatible motherboards featuring the 7-series chipset were released in early April, and are backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge. Nine desktop processors will initially be made available for those motherboards, along with six mobile processors to be used in laptops, all-in-ones and other lower power devices.

The Z77 chipset in tandem with third-generation Core processor. (Credit: Intel)

Sandy Bridge E and Pentium processors will remain in the market, servicing the high-end enthusiast and budget options, respectively. Low-power mobile chips, facilitating new ultrabook designs, are expected in June, coinciding with the Computex trade show in Taiwan. Intel will continue expanding its third-generation Core products as the year progresses, including dual core parts.

With the launch of Ivy Bridge mobile processors, USB 3.0 is expected to become ubiquitous. Less known is how well spread Thunderbolt will be. The 10Gbps interface is at the discretion of the vendor to include.

Desktop processors

Part Base
frequency
(GHz)
Max
Turbo
Boost
(GHz)
L3
cache
(MB)
Intel
HD
Graphics
Graphics
max
frequency
(GHz)
TDP (W) SIPP,
V-Pro,
VT-d,
TXT
Core i7 3770K 3.5 3.9 8 4000 1.15 77 No
Core i7 3770 3.4 3.9 8 4000 1.15 77 Yes
Core i7 3770T 2.5 3.7 8 4000 1.15 45 Yes
Core i7 3770S 3.1 3.9 8 4000 1.15 65 Yes
Core i5 3570K 3.4 3.8 6 4000 1.15 77 No
Core i5 3550 3.3 3.7 6 2500 1.15 77 Yes
Core i5 3550S 3.0 3.7 6 2500 1.15 65 Yes
Core i5 3450 3.1 3.5 6 2500 1.1 77 No
Core i5 3450S 2.8 3.5 6 2500 1.1 65 Yes

Mobile processors

Part Base
frequency
(GHz)
Turbo Boost L3
cache
(MB)
Intel
HD
Graphics
Graphics
max
frequency
(GHz)
TDP(W)
Single
core
(GHz)
Dual
core
(GHz)
Quad
core
(GHz)
Core i7 3920XM 2.9 3.8 3.7 3.6 8 4000 1.3 55
Core i7 3820QM 2.7 3.7 3.6 3.5 8 4000 1.25 45
Core i7 3720QM 2.6 3.6 3.5 3.4 6 4000 1.25 45
Core i7 3615QM 2.3 3.3 3.2 3.1 6 4000 1.2 45
Core i7 3610QM 2.3 3.3 3.2 3.1 6 4000 1.1 45
Core i7 3612QM 2.1 3.1 3.0 2.8 6 4000 1.1 45