Last week, we told you about Sandy Bridge-E and X79 chipset. Today, we have a lot of interesting news about other Intel products, including a look at the Ivy Bridge platform and upcoming SSDs. Intel still isn’t taking the wraps off of their Ivy Bridge architecture, but yesterday’s 3D Tri-Gate announcement certainly changes the expectations.

Ivy Bridge

Ivy Bridge will be a die shrink of Sandy Bridge and represents a “tick” in  Intel’s product line. That means the micro-architecture is mostly the same as Sandy Bridge, but it will be manufactured using 22nm process instead of 32nm. That will bring lower power consumption and thus less heat while keeping the same performance level. Unfortunately, we don’t have any information on core counts, clock speeds, model numbers, cache sizes, or the IGP. At the same core counts as SNB, we might see some fairly high clock speeds (>4GHz, anyone?) since current quad-core Sandy Bridge CPUs already offer Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, and adding additional cache to the design is almost a given. Intel is putting additional resources into their IGP as well, so we expect to see some healthy performance and capability improvements.

Sandy Bridge versus Ivy Bridge
  Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge
Manufacturing process 32nm 22nm
Transistor technology 2D (Planar) 3D (Tri-Gate)
PCI-Express (version) 16 lanes (2.0) 16 lanes (3.0)
Turbo Boost version 2.0 2.0
Memory support Up to DDR3-1333 Up to DDR3-1600
Quick Sync 1.0 2.0 (?)
DirectX 10.1 11
IGP shader count Up to 12 EUs Up to 16 EUs (?)
OpenGL 3.0 3.1 (?)
OpenCL N/A 1.1 (?)

The table above summarizes most of the currently known differences. Ivy Bridge will have enhanced AVX support, the on-die PCI-Express graphics links become version 3.0 instead of SNB’s 2.0, and official memory speed support from the IMC gets bumped to DDR3-1600. While we won’t know about the power consumption until we actually get to test an IB CPU, the roadmap lists TDPs that are the same as SNB (95W, 65W, 45W, 35W). The shrink to 22nm and 3D transistors (FinFET) almost represents a two-node process technology jump, so we expect performance at various power levels to increase quite a bit. A final interesting point for many users is that Ivy Bridge is pin compatible with Sandy Bridge, and it will work on current LGA1155 motherboards with the appropriate chipset and a firmware and BIOS update (H61, H67, P67, and Z68 are capable of support IB). Intel will also launch new 7-series chipsets, which we’ll get into below.

Wrapping up the discussion of improvements, let’s focus on the IGP a bit more. As with Sandy Bridge, we expect Intel will have several IGP variants with Ivy Bridge’s graphics. We don’t know what they will be, but we do know that Intel is calling it their “next Gen Intel HD Graphics” and the core GPU will be DX11 capable. It also looks like Intel will add OpenCL 1.1 support and increase the maximum number of EUs from 12 to 16, though either of those elements may change. Intel lists “Next Gen Quick Sync” as another feature, and with the increase in EU count and additional functionality Ivy Bridge might be double the speed of SNB when it comes to transcoding video.

Panther Point Chipsets
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  • haplo602 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    I'd expect spelling mistakes on a tech site, but writing that a DX11 GPU will only support OGL 3.1 is seriously wrong. But OpenCL 10.1 ?? You expect Ivy Bridge in 10 years or what ? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Relax, it's an extra 0. I've fixed the typo. As for OpenGL support, the real issue there is going to be drivers, which is something Intel has never really focused on in their IGPs. Sandy Bridge does fine in DX games (relatively speaking), but I know of at least a couple OpenGL titles where performance is pathetic. I'm not entirely sure where Kristian got the OpenGL/OpenCL support information, though, so I've added "(?)" to the areas where we're not certain of specs. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    OpenGL and OpenCL were reported by a German site who leaked quite a lot of Sandy Bridge data too which turned out to be right IIRC. Anand mentioned 16 EUs in IB already in the SB review and I also think he mentioned something about the OpenCL support. The same site is also reporting that the IB IGP will come in flavors of 6 and 16 EUs. Reply
  • futrtrubl - Saturday, May 07, 2011 - link

    Now it just needs to be fixed in the text too. 2nd paragraph after the table. Reply
  • Shane1 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    What the heck is your problem? It was a simple typo, if you had any clue what the correct versions were you could have politely replied that it was wrong and what the correct terminology would be. I heard MS is bringing back Clippy, but I hope he is not built to be as much as an @$$ as you. Reply
  • haplo602 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    typo ? typo would be 11 (a missing .) but 10.1 implies 1.01. Current OpenCL is 1.1, I guess Intel would know better than to design future products to implement old technologies. Reply
  • NARC4457 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    It was a simple mistake, you don't have to be a douche about it. Reply
  • andymcca - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Oh lord! They hit an extra key on the number pad! What's next? Outright lies? I, for one, will never voluntarily read this top-notch source of information again. In fact I think I see an angry mob forming!
    (That was sarcasm, you crazy person.)
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    The mob is forming, but we're massing in front of haplo602's house, not Kristian's. Reply
  • Megatomic - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Haha, this is like the nitpicking they do to the writers over at DailyTech. Reply

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