The attentive among you will already remember from Sean Maloney's Computex 2011 keynote that Intel intends to bring Ivy Bridge to the masses in the first half of next year. Today his company has reaffirmed that roadmap, with further word that production is set to begin at five different plants in Q4 of this year following encouraging yield results (always a concern with new processor technology).
The Ivy Bridge microarchitecture represents a significant advance over the current Sandy Bridge technology, not least in production technique, as it'll be built at 22nm instead of 32nm. The other major improvement comes from Intel's Tri-Gate technology, which forms the silicon vertically within the transistor for more efficient switching at lower voltages. That innovation brings several advantages, but the most important among them is lower power draw and more flexibility in making custom chips for different use cases. Intel literally sees the chip as being applicable to devices from smartphones to servers. The company also claims that it is years ahead of the competition with Tri-Gate, anticipating that its nearest competitor won't be shipping similar technology until 2015.
No word yet on which partners will be using Ivy Bridge, but if Sandy Bridge's history is any indicator, CES 2012 should be fully stocked up on devices, of all form factors, sporting Intel's latest and greatest. Find a few more slides detailing Ivy Bridge technology after the break.