Apple's next update to its iMac lineup could arrive in June and the new desktop computers could sport Intel's next-generation processors code named Ivy Bridge, if the rumor mill is to be believed.
The Economic Daily News of China reported earlier this week that unnamed supply chain sources are pointing to the June arrival of new iMacs with "minimal changes in the design" from last year's iMac offering and using new Intel Core i5 and Core i7 chips, according to media reports.
The new iMacs are reportedly being assembled by Foxconn and Quanta Computer, the Asian manufacturers which built last year's models for Apple.
Apple and Intel teamed up previously on last year's iMac Thunderbolt products, which gave Apple a head start on integrating the chip giant's "Light Peak" interconnect technology. Those computers are powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge chips, due to be succeeded this year by the company's Ivy Bridge generation of processors.
Intel hasn't announced an official release date for its next-gen, 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge chips, but signs point to a staggered release that will begin with the launch of several desktop and notebook chips at the end of this month, followed by another wave of Ivy Bridge parts being made available to computer makers in May or June.
Intel on Monday made available its 7-series chipset family of products for notebooks and desktops using its current-generation Core processors as well as the forthcoming Ivy Bridge chips. That means Apple, as well as its rivals, now have the pieces they need to make Ivy Bridge-based products, giving some weight to the Economic Daily News report.
The 7-series chipset supports USB 3.0 and features Intel responsiveness technologies like Smart Response, Smart Connect, and Rapid Start. Intel said in a statement that 7-series products are now available to its OEM partners and that it is also releasing several of its own desktop motherboards featuring its own 7-series Express Chipset.
Among the Ivy Bridge chips that could be made available as early as April 29, according to a recent report, are the 3.5Ghz Core i7-3770K, the 3.4Ghz Core i7-3770, the 3.4GHz Core i5-3570K, and the 3.3Ghz Core i5-3550. All are quad-core desktop processors (the Core i7s have eight threads and the Core i5s have four) and could be candidates for new iMacs from Apple.