Intel has officially unveiled a set of 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs to be used specifically in its Ultrabook initiative. The dual core, hyper-threaded processors are designed for very slim and light notebooks that maintain a $1,000 price point, and arrive alongside a few new requirements that notebooks must follow in order to carry the Ultrabook label.
The Ultrabook-specific generation of processors is named “Ivy Bridge DC,” CPUs with 17-watt power envelopes of the Core i5 and i7 variety. The processors have half the cores and half the last-level cache (3MB in the i5s and 4MB in the i7s) of previous Ivy bridge releases. TechReport notes that an Intel PR rep refused to disclose the usually available information about the chips’ transistor counts and die size, leading the outlet to guess that Intel is recovering quad-core Ivy Bridge chips by disabling half their cores and cache. TechReport’s ten-page article on the new processors and a prototype Ultrabook is well worth a read.
The new i5-3427U is priced at $226, while the i7-3667U will cost $346 (the other two don’t yet have listed prices). Intel’s prototype Ultrabook using one of the new processors includes a 1600×900 13.3-inch display, 4GB RAM, and a 240GB solid-state drive, yet still weighs only 3.22 pounds. According to Intel, such a system should retail for $1,000-1,100 when the new Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks debut around June 5; we must say, a notebook like that would hit a lot of sweet spots for us. Intel hopes to reach price points as low as $599 with the new Ivy Bridge processors.
Intel Ultrabooks to get dual-core Ivy Bridge chips