Intel China chairman (and executive VP) Sean Maloney has confirmed to the Financial Times that the company’s next-generation “Ivy Bridge” desktop and mobile processors will launch eight to ten weeks later than expected, likely landing in June rather than the earlier April timeframe. Although it’s important to note that Intel has never announced a definitive launch date for the Ivy Bridge line, the company had previously indicated it expected to start shipping the chips at the beginning of the second quarter of 2012. There have been several reports that Intel would miss that goal, and Maloney’s statement is the clearest indication yet that Intel is now targeting the end of the second quarter.
According to Maloney, the delay is not due to a lack of demand but by the transition to Intel’s new 22nm manufacturing process with Tri-Gate 3D transistors. The new design will enable the processors to operate faster and with lower power consumption than current processors based on Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” technology. The Ivy Bridge processors use the same architecture as Sandy Bridge, but also feature a new graphics system with DirectX11 support, as well as built-in support for USB 3.0.
Ivy Bridge processors are expected to quickly find homes in ultrabooks, super-thin notebook computers designed for long battery life and desktop-level performance. Intel is also making versions of the Ivy Bridge processors targeting traditional desktop computers and server units. Intel’s first pushes to transition users to Ivy Bridge processors will likely come with the back-to-school season later in 2012, along with the launch of Windows 8.