BY | March 6, 2012

Ivy Bridge is Intel’s third-gen microprocessor technology for computers and other devices. It succeeds the current second-gen Sandy Bridge CPUs. Ivy Bridge stands for the chipmaker’s 22 nm die shrink of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. The processor is based on tri-gate (3D) transistors and is backwards-compatible to the present Sandy Bridge. Intel, for the first time, talked about its Ivy Bridge chips in the third quarter of 2011. It was then slated for an official launch in April this year. But, as per current reports, Ivy Bridge is only to find light in June. It seems that Intel has to sell out surplus inventory of Sandy Bridge chips before availing Ivy Bridge chips for grabs. Here is all you should know of Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processors.

Increased performance
When compared with the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge will offer up to 20 percent increase in CPU performance. In integrated GPU performance, it can add to 30 to 100 percent increase, Intel claims. Well, the new Intel processor technology will add more power to your computers. But, it should be seen whether computer sales will come back to the previous performance with the fast processors.

Tri-gate transistor technology
Ivy Bridge is to advance with the much-touted tri-gate transistor technology. Along with increasing performance, the technology will only consume 50 percent less energy with the same performance of 2-D planar transistors. This is what the major advantage of the new Intel microprocessor chips.

PCI Express 3.0
Ivy Bridge supports the third version of PCI Express data transfer method. PCI-SIG announced the revision 3.0 of PCI Express in November 2010. The new standard can carry a bit rate of 8 gigatransfers per second. Moreover, it is backwards-compatible with current PCIe setups. The new PCI Express 3.0 realizes new features such as clock data recovery, channel improvements for currently supported topologies and much more.

More RAM support
It is, of course, a natural advancement. More improved Ivy Bridge processor supports better RAM. It may go up to 2800MT/s in 200MHz increments, Intel says. Ivy Bridge CPU and enhanced RAM will ensure seamless performance for our computers in a few months.

More graphical support
Graphical support of computers will shoot up with Intel Ivy Bridge, which extends support for Intel HD Graphics with DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.1 and OpenGL 3.1. Gaming and watching HD and 3D movies will be a more rich experience on computers powered by Ivy Bridge chips.

4K video playback
Ivy Bridge will support 4K video. 4K is an emerging standard for video resolution in digital film graphics. Different from the current vertical pixel counting, 4K counts horizontal resolution and so 4K means around 4,000 pixels. 4K videos are available from various sources including YouTube that allowed 4K videos in July, 2010.

Ivy Bridge will reduce costs of Sandy Bridge Ultrabooks
Analysts think that the official arrival of Ivy Bridge processors will bring down the prices of Sandy Bridge-powered Ultrabooks. All currently available Ultrabooks run on Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. Hence, the price reduction will help many more people enjoy high performance and comfortable computing. According to DigiTimes, prices of present Ultrabooks would fall by 20 percent to 30 percent with the Ivy Bridge.

Ultrabooks announced with Ivy Bridge
At the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, some computer makers announced their future Ultrabooks with Intel Ivy Bridge processors. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, which is set for a Q3 release, is one of them. More Ultrabooks will soon come out of cover as Intel launches the processor.

What others say?
Patrick Moorhead of Forbes says,

“Intel will productize Ivy Bridge into specific desktops, notebooks, server and embedded designs through derivatives with different power, frequency, feature and manufacturing packages like they did with the previous “Sandy Bridge”- based designs.”

Jared Newman of PCWorld comments,

“With Ivy Bridge, Intel will shrink its chip microarchitecture to a 22-nanometer process, using 3D transistors. Compared to the existing 32-nanometer process for Sandy Bridge microprocessors, Intel claims that the smaller die size allows for either double the power efficiency or double the performance. For the next generation of Ultrabooks, you can expect big battery life gains to result.”

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