Ivy Bridge, Llano to make appearances this spring

Both Intel and AMD started 2011 with a bang—the former introducing its Sandy bridge processors and the latter countering with its first low-power Fusion chips. There's plenty more excitement coming our way, as evidenced by a DigiTimes post that quotes a source story by Taiwan's Commercial Times.

DigiTimes says Intel plans to show off its 22-nm Ivy Bridge processors at the Computex trade show, which will kick off on May 31. Also, word is that AMD has pulled forward the release of its Llano desktop processors. Shipments to hardware makers are now due to begin "in May at the earliest."

From what we gleaned from conversations with AMD, Llano will be out in quad- and dual-core variants for desktops and notebooks. While Llano may well fall short of matching Sandy Bridge's CPU performance, its integrated graphics component could well be quicker. Thanks to GlobalFoundries' 32-nm fab process, Llano should be well-positioned to match Sandy Bridge's impressively low power consumption.

I'm more excited about Ivy Bridge, the next "tick" in Intel's roadmap—essentially a shrink of Sandy Bridge to 22 nm with extra goodies thrown in. A VR-Zone story Ronald caught in the 'bread last week says Intel expects Ivy Bridge to outrun Sandy Bridge by a sizeable margin: 20% on the CPU side and 30% with graphics. VR-Zone also noted that Ivy Bridge CPUs will fit in the same LGA-1155 sockets, although they'll launch together with a new chipset (which, by the way, is expected to feature built-in USB 3.0 support).

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