Intel may unveil its next generation of processors--nicknamed "Ivy Bridge"--in April, according to the latest reports. The Ivy Bridge chips for desktops and laptops promise a 37 percent performance increase over the current generation of Sandy Bridge processors.
The new Ivy Bridge CPUs use a 22-nanometer architecture, which makes them almost 30 percents smaller than the current chips, which use a 32nm architecture. Smaller chips mean lower power consumption (which is great for battery life) and more room for the integrated graphics chip. Ivy Bridge will support DirectX 11, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0.
Taiwan-based trade publication DigiTimes reports that the first Ivy Bridge processors to launch will be quad-core desktop processors: the Core i7-3370 series and the Core i5-3570, 3550, and 3450. Because Ivy Bridge is backward-compatible with existing Sandy Bridge motherboards, desktop users should have an upgrade path available.
The first Ivy Bridge notebook chips to launch, according to DigiTimes, will be the Core i7 chips as well: The Core i7-3920QM, 3820QM, and 3720QM. Core i5 processors will pop up later.
Ivy Bridge will be smaller, more powerful, and more energy-efficient, and should be here in just a few months.