Intel Formally Introduces Core i-Series "Ivy Bridge" Microprocessors

Intel Reveals World's First 22nm Central Processing Units

by Anton Shilov
04/23/2012 | 03:19 PM

Intel Corp. on Monday introduced the world's first microprocessors made using 22nm tri-gate process technology. The new chips bring moderate performance boosts when compared to predecessors in general-purpose computing applications, but substantially reduced power consumption and tangibly improved built-in graphics adapter.


"Our engineers have exceeded our expectations by doubling the performance of media and graphics versus the best processors we’ve built until today, which means incredible new visual experiences are here for new all-in-one PCs and upcoming ultrabook devices. What makes all this possible is the combination of Intel’s leading manufacturing and processor architecture, and our unwavering commitment to drive computing innovations forward," said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the PC client group.

Intel's new Core i-series 3000-family code-named Ivy Bridge chip generally inherits Sandy Bridge micro-architecture, but also sports a rather significant number of evolutionary improvements. Firstly, it new instructions have potential to boost its performance in general applications by around 20% compared to Core i "Sandy Bridge" chips (e.g., enhanced AVX acceleration). Secondly, the latest Intel central processing units incorporate a brand new Intel HD Graphics 4000-series graphics core with DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1 support, 30% higher performance compared to the predecessor as well as new video processor and display controllers that support ultra high-definition resolution and other innovations. Thirdly, Ivy Bridge features PCI Express 3.0 x16 interconnection as well as PCIe 2.0 x4 controller. In fourth, the processor supports a number of power management innovations that either enable significant savings in power consumption or help to overclock the microprocessor.

The Ivy Bridge generation Intel Core processor also adds security features, including Intel Secure Key and Intel OS Guard to safeguard personal data and identity. Intel Secure Key consists of a digital random number generator that creates random numbers to strengthen encryption algorithms. Intel OS Guard helps defend against privilege escalation attacks where a hacker remotely takes over another person's system. These two features join existing platform security features such as Intel Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT) and Intel Anti-Theft technology (Intel AT) to help make Intel platforms some of the most secure in the industry. When paired with the Intel 7-series chipset, the new processors with Intel IPT can make a portion of the screen unreadable to spyware with the “protected transaction display” feature, helping prevent a hacker from obtaining login credentials that could lead to identity theft.

As reported previously, it will take Intel a while to roll-out the whole family of 22nm chips. Quad-core Intel Core i5 and Core i7 3000-series "Ivy Bridge" processors are available starting today in powerful, high-end desktop, laptop, and all-in-one designs. In the coming months, additional versions of the Intel Core i 3000-series processors will be available to power a new wave of systems ranging from ultrabook devices, to servers and intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries.