R&D Spotlight: Intel’s Ivy Bridge Update

Reports are surfacing that Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) new Ivy Bridge mobile processor provides noticeable performance improvement, which should mean faster computers for Mac and Windows laptop users in the near future.

Ivy Bridge includes improved graphics, 3D transistors, and USB 3.0. In benchmark tests, the quad-core Core i7-3820QM Ivy Bridge chip beat the current-generation Sandy Bridge Core i7-2960XM on all fronts. Testing showed a 65 percent performance boost for the Ivy Bridge HD4000 graphics processing unit while the new chip saw a 103 percent gain over Sandy Bridge HD3000 for overall performance.

According to CPU World, both chips had a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and a Turbo Boost speed of 3.7GHz. Performance gains in central processing units were much more muted for Ivy Bridge.

The first Ivy Bridge mobile processors are expected to debut this month. Power-efficient dual-core Ivy Bridge technology that is expected to be used in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows-based ultrabooks should arrive later this spring.