Intel is on a roll this month. Last week the company rolled out its first smartphone with its Atom chips. This week, it’s preparing to launch its Ivy Bridge processors, which promise to make computers faster and more energy efficient.
According to a report from the BBC, Intel will roll out 13 of the quad-core processors in its initial line. The first chips with the new transistors will be made for desktop computers, with the chips for Intel’s much-touted Ultrabooks coming later this spring, the report said.
The new chips feature what Intel’s calling “3-D transistors,” an idea the company has been working on for a little more than 10 years.
This year, Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr explained the change: The conducting gate on the chip is in more contact with the electron flow, a design alteration that, ideally, would reduce power consumption 50 percent while increasing performance up to 37 percent.
The BBC report quotes Intel PC business head Kirk Skaugen saying that the first chip will have 20 percent more processor performance and use 20 percent less power on average.
That translates to promises of speedier computers with longer battery life — two attributes that matter most to consumers looking for laptops.
According to a review of the chip by PC Advisor’s Paul Monckton, Ivy Bridge provides a noticeable jump in performance over its predecessor, Sandy Bridge. And although the graphics performance for Ivy Bridge is slightly behind that of chips from rival AMD, it is nonetheless impressive and will be particularly noteworthy once the chips start appearing in laptops, Monckton said.