Intel makes way for Ivy Bridge by phasing out 25 CPUs

January 05, 2012 // By Sylvie Barak
Intel has notified hardware partners it will be phasing out production of some 25 desktop CPU models to make way for its new 22-nm Ivy Bridge processors due out in April.

The chipmaker will be slowing production of the Core i5-661/660, Core i3-530, Pentium E5700 and Celeron E3500, before halting them altogether in the second quarter, according to Intel’s Taiwanese hardware partners.

The chip giant is also expected to stop manufacturing its Core i7-960/950/930/870/880S/870S, Core i5-2300/680/670, Core Duo E7500/E7600, Pentium G960, E6600/E550 and Celeron E3300 in the second quarter of 2012, while the Core i7-875K/860S, Core i5-760/750S/655K and Celeron 450/430 will have production halted already in this first quarter.

Intel's new CPU platform is Maho Bay, which includes the Ivy Bridge CPU and Panther Point chipset. While the official launch is expected in early April, mainboard makers like Taiwanese firm Gigabyte have said early motherboard samples will be on show at both CES and CeBit this month and next.

Maho Bay will be completely compatible with existing socket LGA 1155 motherboards for Sandy Bridge CPUs, said a Gigabyte spokesman, meaning older Sandy Bridge CPUs will work with the new motherboards too. This will allow cash conscious users to upgrade their mainboards in April and wait to upgrade their CPU later on in the year.

“The new CPU will work with old LGA 1155 MBs, and old CPUs will work with the new LGA 1155 MBs,” said Gigabyte’s Tim Handley adding, “Of course LGA 1366 or LGA 2011 CPUs will not work with new or old LGA 1155 motherboards.”

With the motherboards that run the CPUs being both backwards and forwards compatible, Intel can safely run down its old LGA 1155 CPU inventories to make way for the new, higher margin LGA 1155 CPUs.

For those waiting to decide whether to wait in order to upgrade to Ivy Bridge, the difference boils down to better integrated graphics and lower power owing to the 22-nm process technology the chips are manufactured on. Ivy Bridge chips will have DX11 graphics included and overall performance is expected to be significantly higher.

“It is well worth