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Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 11:35 pm PT (02:35 am ET)

'Bulk' of first wave of Intel's next-gen Ivy Bridge chips bound for desktops

Intel revealed on Tuesday that the first wave of its next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will feature quad-core models, the bulk of which are headed for desktop computers, followed by a second launch of dual-core chips for "mainstream notebooks."

CEO Paul Otellini relayed the information to investors during a quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, as noted by CNet.

"The first versions of Ivy Bridge that we're shipping are quad cores, and then bulk of those are going into desktops," Otellini said, according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha.

"And then the second launch of the products is in the dual core, which is the mainstream notebooks. So I think that helps put a profile over the course of quarter as well."

Intel pushed the Ivy Bridge launch back by three weeks in order to "make sure that there was enough inventory in the pipeline," the company's CFO said. The chipmaker is expected to launch its first batch of Ivy Bridge chips next week.

Otellini's comments could still leave room for a MacBook Pro release within the first wave of chips. Apple could potentially obtain enough inventory for initial MacBook Pro shipments even if the "bulk" of Intel's new processors are headed for desktops. Currently, both the 15-inch and 17-inch versions of the MacBook Pro make use of a quad-core Intel processor, while the 13-inch model has a dual-core processor.

Availability of 15-inch MacBook Pros has been constrained among authorized resellers, often a reliable indicator of an imminent update.
AppleInsider reported in February that Apple is planning a slimmed-down version of its 15-inch notebook that will draw upon the design traits of the MacBook Air, while a similar redesign of the 17-inch MacBook Pro is expected later this year.

MacBook Lineup

An illustration of Apple's notebook lineup planned for the 2012 calendar year.


The lack of dual-core options in the first round of Ivy Bridge chips has led to speculation that an updated MacBook Air is not likely to arrive until the end of the second quarter at the earliest. The processors bound for Apple's next-generation MacBook Air and rivals' ultrabooks are expected to arrive in June.