Ivy Bridge launch schedule leaked

Intel's next generation Ivy Bridge processors are set to debut in April 2012, with the first lineup of i5 and i7 chips coming first, followed on by i3 and i5 mobile microprocessors a little later in the year.

Set to be the first processors to make use of the newly shrunk 22nm form factor, Ivy Bridge was originally set for release in the first quarter of 2012, but due to poor demand - presumably because of the not so distant release of Sandy Bridge E chips - it was pushed back to April 2012. This likely wouldn't have been possible if AMD's Bulldozer chips had shown stronger performance, but due to the lack of competition Intel could quite easily coast through the next few months knowing that there is nothing to threaten it performance wise.

Fudzilla reports that this third generation of i-series chips will include the usual on-die graphics processing hardware with support for DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.1. Support for PCIe 3.0 is also expected, as well as an increase in maximum multiplier, potential RAM frequencies and a reduction in Thermal Design Power (TDP) across the board. While the mobile versions of the processors will certainly have the lowest TDP - likely somewhere around 15w - this will increase if the notebook or other mobile device is attached to a docking station or similar that enhances the cooling capabilities, allowing for increased performance in environments that support it.

One advantage of the new platform is that it will be backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge chipsets, though it will require a BIOS update that is left at the discretion of the motherboard manufacturers to release.

Intel has yet to address the leaked schedule.