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Intel’s New Ivy Bridge Processors Pave The Way for Retina Display MacBooks

MacBook Pro

With a Retina display now in its iPhone, its iPad, and its iPod touch, Apple’s only mobile devices without a super high-resolution are its MacBooks. Until now, the problem has been finding a processor that supports such a display. But with Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors, that problem has been solved.

At the Intel Developer Forum which took place earlier this week, Kirk Skaugen, the company’s vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, revealed that the company’s third-generation of Core processors are “Retina display-capable if OEMs choose to use it.”

Skaugen’s use of the term “Retina display” is interesting, because it’s a phrase coined by Apple to describe high-density displays with so many pixels that the users cannot tell them apart at an average distance. The Cupertino company is the only one that uses the term, and it’s highly unlikely it will ever apply to PCs or mobile devices from other manufacturers.

But of course, that’s not the big news here; the big news is that Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors, which are expected to replace the Sandy Bridge chips in Apple’s new MacBook Pros at the end of this month, is capable of supporting said Retina displays — without help from a discrete graphics processor — with resolutions up to 2560 x 1600. That’s four times the resolution of the current 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple’s next-generation of notebooks could, then, be the first to introduce Retina displays to the Mac. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to many of you, what with Retina displays now in all iOS devices, and support for HiDPI graphics in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. But I don’t think we quite anticipated Retina display Macs just yet. (Well, DigiTimes did.)

Of course, like many Apple-related rumors, this is all conjecture at this point. And just because Ivy Bridge processors support this feature, it doesn’t mean Apple will right away. The company famously takes its time to adopt certain new technologies, but having been at the forefront of high-density devices since launching the iPhone 4, this seems to be one that it probably won’t sit on for long.

In addition to Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, the new MacBook Pros are also expected to receive an all-new design that is thinner and lighter than previous models — much like the MacBook Air. Recent reports claim that they will launch in late April or early May.

Would you like to see a Retina display in your next MacBook Pro?

[via 9to5Mac]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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