Fourth-generation Intel Core processors coming to tablets, Ultrabooks next year

Did you think Intel’s recently released third-generation “Ivy Bridge” Core processor technology was something special? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, with Intel talking up the next development in San Francisco this week.

Coming out way in 2013, the fourth-generation processors from Intel will use a new architecture designed to offer more performance and responsiveness than current and previous generation chips, allowing the future of laptops and Ultrabooks to have better battery life and speeds.

While the past two generations of chips were codenamed with bridges – “Sandy Bridge” in second-gen Core and “Ivy Bridge” in the current third-gen chips – it appears that we’ve travelled past the bridges, and are making our way to “Haswell,” with this name becoming synonymous with the fourth-gen Intel Core processors.

Speed improvements are more or less expected from the new chips, expected to arrive in machines from next year, but Intel will also throw in better encryption and security functionality in the hardware, as well as improved power technology aimed at offering increased battery life.

While technology shrinks with upcoming generations in the process known as miniaturisation, Intel expects the new chips to help push and shape its Ultrabook designs in new ways, allowing manufacturers to make the Ultrabook even more “ultra,” so to speak.

“The 4th generation Intel Core processor family and our new line of low-power processors will usher in an era of unprecedented innovation in mobile computing,” said Intel’s Chief Product Officer, David Perlmutter.

“You’ll see our customers delivering sleek and cool convertible designs, as well as radical breakthrough experiences across a growing spectrum of mobile devices.”

In the mean time, Intel is also working on a next generation of its Atom processor, a chip that once saw a lot of use in the netbook space.

With the increase of tablets, the tiny 10 inch sub-notebooks known as “netbooks” have mostly dried up, but Intel hopes to see more use of the Atom chip with its latest incarnation, codenamed “Clover Trail” and designed for Windows 8.

While we don’t have a date for systems with the new chip, expect to see it in tablets and hybrid devices within the next year, with Windows 8 the target operating system.