Intel Outlines 'Ivy Bridge' Roadmap as 1st Half 2012, and Previews MacBook Air-Like 'Ultrabook'
At Computex, Intel updated the press about its roadmap for power efficient processors in the coming years. Engadget reprints the press release in which Intel predicts that a new class of laptops called "Ultrabooks" could make up 40% of the consumer latop market by the end of 2012.
These computers will marry the performance and capabilities of today's laptops with tablet-like features and deliver a highly responsive and secure experience, in a thin, light and elegant design.
Intel describes this family of notebooks as "thin, light and beautiful designs that are less than 20mm (0.8 inch) thick, and mainstream price points under US $1,000." These "ultrabooks" already sound very similar to Apple's MacBook Air which we've already heard is evolving into a mainstream product.
Intel describes the ultimate evolution to these ultra-thin laptops in a 3 step process. The first systems based on their current designs should be available this winter. Meanwhile, they plan on continuing to push processor power designs in the coming years to enable even more efficient designs.
The second step will be based on Intel's Ivy Bridge processor designs which were announced in May:
Laptops based on "Ivy Bridge" will bring improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security. "Ivy Bridge" is the first high-volume chip based on Intel's 22 nanometer (nm) manufacturing technology that uses a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate announced in May.
Finally, for the 3rd step, in 2013 processors codenamed "Haswell" will reduce the microprocessor power to half of today's chips. Intel has been previously reported to be working aggressively on reducing power consumption on their processors.
Apple has a good relationship with Intel and will certainly benefit from these new processor designs. So, we should also see the first Macs based on the Ivy Bridge processors in the first half of 2012. The most recently leaked slides suggest a March-April timeframe for the chip release.