Intel revealed more details about the planned successors for its current-generation Sandy Bridge processors at its Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco this week. Coming in the second quarter of 2012 will be Ivy Bridge, a 22nm die-shrink “tick” to Sandy Bridge’s “tock.” Ivy Bridge will benefit from Intel’s new 3D tri-gate transistor technology, offering as much as a 37 percent power efficiency improvement along with what looks like serious integrated graphics improvements. Following that in 2013 will be the 22nm Haswell architecture, which promises “all day” laptop battery life along with up to 10 days of what Intel is calling “connected standby.”
Sandy Bridge offered significant performance over last generation Intel CPUs within the same power envelope. Additionally, Intel integrated the GPU onto the same die as the CPU, connecting the two with a shared L3 cache. While Intel has had a pretty poor reputation with its integrated graphics solutions, the architectural improvements finally put the Intel HD3000 IGP included on most mobile Sandy Bridge chips on par with even low-end discrete GPUs. The performance boost was enough for Apple to ditch NVIDIA GPUs in its MacBook Air and other low-end machines.
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Next-gen Intel CPUs to improve mobile graphics, battery life