Articles: CPU

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As we know, we are about to witness not only the arrival of the new Intel enthusiast platform known as LGA2011, but also a refresh of the LGA1155, in which the new Ivy Bridge processors will replace the current Sandy Bridge ones. According to Intel’s “tick-tock” strategy, this won’t be a new generation of microarchitecture, but a mere die-shrink. However, this will be a fundamentally new process, as not only will it be 22 nm, but will also use Tri-Gate Transistors.

However, as we remember from our previous experience, during the transition to new manufacturing process Intel can’t resist the temptation to enhance a few things in the corresponding microarchitecture, so the new CPU generation won’t be just a simple die-shrink, but more of an enhanced version.

Today at IDF in San Francisco Intel officials shared a little about the innovations they are going to offer us with the arrival of Ivy Bridge, in an attempt to get the current owners of LGA1155 systems excited about the upcoming new processors and make them really look forward to the opportunity to upgrade.

So what can we expect? Intel engineers primarily focused on the following key features:

  • New 22 nm manufacturing process with Tri-Gate Transistors that should reduce heat dissipation;
  • Ivy Bridge graphics core will deliver higher performance and support DirectX 11;
  • It will acquire integrated hardware random numbers generator and OS protection against Escalation of Privilege attacks;
  • New approach to heat dissipation: configurable TDP;
  • Improved memory controller supporting high-speed and low-voltage memory;
  • Additional overclocking functionality.

At the same time, the basic configuration principles of the new Ivy Bridge are going to remain exactly the same as in Sandy Bridge. In other words, the new processors will not only retain the Ring Bus, L3 cache memory (which will become larger, by the way) and an integrated graphics core, but all of these will also fit into the same semiconductor die.

Moreover, Intel confirmed that Ivy Bridge will remain pin-compatible with Sandy Bridge processors, so the compatibility will solely depend on the mainboard BIOS. Of course, the launch of Ivy Bridge will be accompanied by the arrival of a few new chipsets. However, their primary purpose will be not to provide the new processors with their own specific platform, but to offer native USB 3.0 support and a few other storage-related features based on RST 11.

However, let’s not veer too far away from the topic of our article and continue to the major innovations.

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