Ivy Bridge Processor

New Generation of Intel Core Processors

Where do you go when you can't spread out any further than you already have? That's the question Intel engineers had to solve to improve upon the Sandy Bridge processor. Their answer is up, and with that the Ivy Bridge chip was born.

The Ivy Bridge chip is the third generation of Core series processors and the first to incorporate Intel's new Tri-Gate 3D transistor technology using the world's first 22nm manufacturing process. Intel is touting a 37% increase in performance over the previous chip while consuming less power.

The performance gains are largely due to the breakthrough in transistor technology. Prior to the Ivy Bridge chip, transistors operated in a planar fashion spreading outward. Now with the Tri-Gate 3D technology, transistors operate on three sides of a vertical fin rising upward. (For a video explanation, visit

Also, with this release come enhanced built-in visual features to provide a much-improved experience with 3D and HD content. A few of the highlights are the Intel InTru 3D stereoscopic 3D playback in full 1080p resolution; Intel HD Graphics 4000, which marks significant graphics performance enhancements for gaming; and Intel Advanced Vector Extensions for increased performance for video and image editing applications.

So, what does all this high-tech mumbo jumbo mean for your laptop? You should expect to see better processor performance at a lower power consumption, which potentially could increase battery life. The Asus N56 notebook demo unit we received for this review contained the Intel Core i7-3720QM, 2.6-GHz, quad-core processor. It performed very well with Adobe Creative Suite 6 components and rendered HD content beautifully, whether streamed or played through the Blu-ray optical drive. For our test results, visit

If you're in the market for an Ultrabook with an Ivy Bridge processor, you'll to have to wait as the launch date for those are expected sometime this summer.

Company: Intel Corporation
Price: $378
Rating: 4
Hot: Better performance using less power
Not: Ultrabook CPUs not launched as of this writing