One of many reasons to still
be excited about Ivy Bridge is the integrated HD4000 graphics, which are zippy enough to handle Skyrim
at modest settings. Desktoppers may not be so enthused if they stick to discrete GPUs anyway, but the potential for better graphics in cheaper, low-power mobile PCs is huge. That's why we're hyped to hear talk of a forthcoming 22nm "ValleyView" processor, described by Intel insider Jesse Barnes as a "CedarView-like chip but with an Ivy Bridge graphics core". That implies HD4000 may not only be destined for desktops, laptops and Project Fionas
, but for future netbooks too. Meanwhile, leaked slides (shown above and after the break) from an outfit called Advantech spill more beans. Listed under a chipset codenamed "Balboa Pier", the Cedar Trail
successor is described as fanless, packing "4x Gfx performance" compared to current PowerVR-equipped Atoms, and scheduled to arrive early next year. Will it be enough to bring netbooks back into vogue
? It can't hurt.