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Fourth generation Intel Core preview: all about Haswell

Preview of Intel's fourth generation Core processors

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Introduction

Intel revealed more details this week about next year's fourth generation Intel Core processors during the Intel Developer Forum 2012. Codenamed Haswell, the new chips should become available in the first half of 2013. Here is the Hardware.Info preview with the latest facts.


Intel's familiar tick-tock business strategy keeps on rolling. When the Core architecture was originally launched along with the Core 2 Duo processors, Intel announced it would release a new product each year. If it released a new architecture one year (tock), the next would see the launch of a new manufacturing process (tick).

While the interval between launches is a bit longer than a year now - about 14 months - the underlying strategy is still there. The most recent introduction were the Ivy Bridge processors on April 23 of this year. This was a so-called "tick", a transition to smaller, 22nm transistors. The architecture of Ivy Bridge is therefore based on the previous generation Sandy Bridge processors, so the performance differences are relatively small.

The next generation will be a "tock", a new architecture based on an existing production process. These are generally the more interesting of the two, as the performance increase is usually quite significant. The fourth generation Intel Core, codenamed Haswell, is slated for release in the first half of next year.

No details have been revealed about the exact level of performance that's expected from the new CPU, but Intel claims it will be comparable to the performance increase seen with previous tocks (Sandy Bridge and Nehalem). They have also been mum about the model numbers, clock frequencies and the exact launch date. Rumour has it that it should be in March or June, which could indicate that Intel will use the CeBIT or Computex fairs to launch the next generation processor.

Intel has unveiled quite a bit about the architecture, however, and it looks promising.


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