Recently, at Intel’s Developer Forum, Kirk Skaugen (the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s PC Client Group) discussed the company’s third-generation “Core” CPU series; code named, Sandy Bridge.
During his presentation, Skaugen pointed out something very interesting about the upcoming CPU line; he revealed that the Ivy Bridge processor series was designed to support retina graphics, “if OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] choose to use it” (at 14 minutes and 29 seconds).
The type of displays that [remove that] the new processor will be able to power were actually referred to as “Retina” during the Developer Forum. It was, if nothing else, an interesting choice of words considering the term “Retina” was first coined by Apple in 2010 as a marketing ploy for the iPhone 4′s incredibly high definition display. A “Retina” display is described as having such a high resolution and pixel density that if optimum graphics are displayed and the screen is at an average viewing distance, it would make it next to impossible for the average user to discern individual pixels.
Skaugen was also proud to point out that without the aid of a graphics card, also referred to as a graphics processor, the new Ivy Bridge chip will be able to power displays up to 2,560-by-1,600 (that’s a slightly higher resolution than Apple’s 27″ iMac and Thunderbolt Display). However, when a graphics card is added into the mix (which is always the case with higher-end computers), it greatly improves the resolution the Ivy Bridge chip can handle.
With the next series of Mac refreshes set to feature Ivy Bridge processors right around the corner and Intel’s use of an Apple term to describe displays for future computers, it would seem as if the rumors of Macs with Retina displays may hold some validity. Stay tuned for full coverage on Apple’s upcoming 2012 iMac and MacBook Pro releases.