Intel is reportedly planning to release a new Thunderbolt chip codenamed Redwood Ridge in 2Q13, according to DigiTimes. The new chip is said to launch alongside its Haswell processors.
The new Thunderbolt chip supports 10Gbps data rate, DisplayPort v1.1a as well as DisplayPort v1.2 Redriver. In 2014, the technology will be further upgraded to Falcon Ridge with transmission speeds to improve to 20Gbps through two channels.
Current Thunderbolt chips (Cactus Ridge) are still priced at about US$20 with motherboard and PC players only adopting the technology in their high-end products.
Intel officially launches its new Ivy Bridge processor today, this processor is undoubtedly headed to the next line of Macs and will help provide some significant feature updates. The processor is a 22-nanometer 3D transistor chip which will be more efficient than the bigger Sandy Bridge processors it replaces. It is initially available in 13 quad-core models, in both the i5 and i7 versions. According to Intel, lower end i3 and i5 models will launch later this Spring.
The Ivy Bridge also features on-chip USB 3.0 – a technology Apple has been rumored to adopt for quite some time. While it is still possible that Apple may not choose to take that route, the likelihood of Apple using the now built-in USB 3.0 tech has grown exponentially.
An Intel VP told at the Intel Developer Forum earlier this month that the Ivy Bridge Processor is built for Retina display computers, “if OEMs choose to use it.” This is especially interesting because Apple is rumored to include a Retina-like display, thanks to a slew of hints in the developer preview of Mountain Lion. Retina would be a game changer on the displays of Apple’s Pro/Air. Intel’s new 4000 chipset supports up to 4k resolution natively and also supports improved audio and security functions that Apple may or may not choose to take advantage of.
With the official launch of the Ivy Bridge processor, the launch of new Macs doesn’t appear to be that far off. The new processor will most likely be found throughout the whole Mac line, including the MacBook Air, iMac, Mini and MacBook Pro.
Intel VP and GM of the PC Client Group Kirk Skaugen hinted that upcoming Macs could feature Retina Displays during a presentation at the Intel Developer Forum.
Skaugen reveals that Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processor is built for Retina display computers, if OEMs choose to use it.
“We are planning to deliver more than 70% higher graphics performance versus the second generation core processor. We’ll have new support for three screens, DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.1, and OpenGL 3.1. These are new disclosures today on the amazing performance that we’re going to be delivering around this with 2560×1600 resolution and just like we had on the second generation core and now third generation core all this is Retina Display capable, if our OEMs choose to deliver on that.”
Considering that Retina Display is an Apple marketing term, it’s interesting that Skaugen uses the term when speaking about high resolution displays.
Notably, Apple has also been updating OS X with new images to support the HiDPI mode that Retina Displays would utilize.
Intel has reportedly begun shipping second generation Thunderbolt controllers, codenamed Cactus Ridge, just ahead of the expected Ivy Bridge update for various Mac models, according to VR-Zone.
We’re expecting to see Thunderbolt support on at least the new iMac and possibly the new Mac Pro systems from Apple which might be even closer to launch than a new notebook model.
For Ivy Bridge we know for certain that Intel will be offering two different solutions which we have reported about multiple times in the past, namely the DSL3310 which is a 12x12mm chip which offers two lanes worth of PCI Express bandwidth and draws 2.1W as well as the DSL3510 which offers four PCI Express lanes and draws 2.8W. The DSL3510 can also be used for daisy chainable devices and as such it would be a lower cost, smaller and more power efficient alternative to the original Light Ridge or CV82524 chipset.
The DSL3510 supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs, so in theory it could interface with both the discrete graphics card and the integrated graphics. It’s this chip that VR-Zone expects Apple to use in its desktops; whereas, the DSL3310 is expected to end up in notebook products.
Apple will reportedly release new Ivy Bridge iMacs in June-July following the release of a new MacBook Pro, according to How to Arena.
Apple is planning to refresh iMacs with Intel’s 22nm-based Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors in June-July time frame. A reliable tipster in Chinese supply chain told us that the company is currently ramping up production of thinner 15 inch version of MacBook Pros with same processors which are reportedly coming later this month. According to our source, Ivy Bridge equipped iMacs would be released in June-July time frame this year.
Intel reportedly plans to launch desktop and mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs on April 29 paving the way for these iMac and MacBook updates.