Intel launched the quad-core version of its 3rd Generation Core processors. What was once known as Ivy Bridge is now available in desktops, laptops, and All-in-Ones. Ivy Bridge is the next evolution of Intel’s 2nd Generation Core processors but with additional features.
For years, Intel has a strict “Tick-Tock” cycle with Tick being a new manufacturing process such as die shrinkage while the Tock is a new architecture the following year. With the 3rd Generation Core processors, Intel is calling this “Tick-Plus” as the new processor is now smaller, using 22nm manufacturing process while updating the 2nd Generation Core (Sandy Bridge) processors using 3D tri-gate technology as well as updating the graphics architecture.
The updated HD Graphics 4000, built into the new processor allows for better and faster 3D performance. Intel is stating at least double the performance of the previous graphics architecture. The HD Graphics 4000 now supports DirectX 11 as well as OpenGL 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1. This allows for mainstream 3D games to be playable without the need of discrete graphics. Intel HD Graphics 4000 also includes Quick Sync Video 2.0 that doubles the speed of video conversion using supported software.
Security features are also included with the new processors such as Intel Secure Key and Intel OS Lock.
Intel Secure Key consists of a digital random number generator that creates truly random numbers to strengthen encryption algorithms. Intel OS Guard helps defend against privilege escalation attacks where a hacker remotely takes over another person’s system.
More version of the 3rd Generation Core processor will be available including low-power versions for Ultrabooks as well.