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Intel unveils Ivy Bridge processors

Third generation Core processors are first to use 3D 22nm technology

Intel's new third generation Core processors feature improved graphics and performance.
Intel's new third generation Core processors feature improved graphics and performance.

Intel has unveiled its new quad-core third generation core processor chips, previously code-named Ivy Bridge.

The processors are the first chips produced using the 22nm, 3-D tri-gate transistor technology, making them the first ‘three dimensional' processors in the world.

The new processors offer improved graphics capabilities, with up to up to double the 3-D graphics and HD media processing performance of previous generations of Intel chips, and improved processing power, with up to 20% microprocessor performance improvements.

The 3-D construction of the processors allows for much greater transistor density and more capabilities to be included on a processor.

Intel says that it has been able to simultaneously improve the graphics architecture of this generation of Core processors, at the same time as reducing the size, breaking its usual ‘tick-tock' cycle of introducing a new manufacturing process one year and enhancing the architecture of the chip the next.

The new processors also include new built-in security features, including Intel Secure Key, to generate truly random numbers to strengthen encryption algorithms, and Intel OS Guard that helps defend against privilege escalation attacks where a hacker remotely takes over another person's system.

"The 3rd generation Intel Core processors were created from the ground up to generate exciting new experiences," said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group. "Our engineers have exceeded our expectations by doubling the performance of media and graphics versus the best processors we've built until today, which means incredible new visual experiences are here for new all-in-one PCs and upcoming Ultrabook devices. What makes all this possible is the combination of Intel's leading manufacturing and processor architecture, and our unwavering commitment to drive computing innovations forward."

Intel reports that systems using the Ivy Bridge processors, and boxed processors will be available this month, with versions for Ultrabooks, servers and embedded systems to be released at some point in the future.