It looks like Intel's 22nm 3D "Tri-Gate" Ivy Bridge—successor to the Sandy Bridge chipset—isn't going to be ready until March or April of next year, according to a report from Swedish website Sweclockers. That'll probably be too late to make it into a super-thin Macbook Pro refresh.
Ivy Bridge chips are expected to deliver a massive 37% improvement Intel's current Sandy Bridge chips, owing to the chip's first-of-its-kind 3D chip architecture, allowing it to cut chip size from 32nm down to 22nm. It also cuts power usage in half. Basically it's a monster-in-waiting. It just sucks that it's probably going to remain in waiting long enough to miss out of the next Macbook Pro refresh, which is rumored to be a fat-cutting redesign.
The last major overhaul of the Pro's body was 2008's move to the unibody design. While it's still at the top of the heap on build quality, the overwhelming popularity of the Macbook Air's ethereally-slim design might mean a water-treading guts update to the Pro would probably still do gangbusters sales with the Biggest Loser treatment. The late-2010 Macbook Air was wildly popular despite an outdated (but functional) Core 2 Duo chipset, as was the original unibody Macbook Pro with its own by-then lacking C2D. But still, it sure would sting if you pick up a skinny new MBP, only to have Intel's new miracle processor fall out of the sky a few months later. So an advance caveat emptor to the lot of you. [Sweclockers via 9to5mac]
You can keep up with Kyle Wagner, the author of this post, on Twitter.