Ivy Bridge is the successor to incumbent Sandy Bridge – the design which powers the majority of Intel’s silicon available today – and it’s considered a tick in Intel’s nomenclature.
Ivy’s central core design is similar to Sandy Bridge in some ways, George said, as it features the same two-chip solution – PCH and CPU – socket, shared cache, and memory-controller found on the incumbent chip.
But George went on to explain that shifting down to 22nm and using the new-fangled tri-gate transistors enables Intel to offer either greater power efficiency or more performance than Sandy Bridge for a set die size, though he would not divulge actual numbers at the technical seminar at IDF.
While performance is clearly important for an architecture that’ll scale from ultra-low-voltage laptops through to servers, George was keen to point out that many of the improvements in Ivy Bridge relate to power efficiency. For example, new power-management features enable more-granular control over the chips’ cores and voltages, extending through to particular chips having multiple TDP settings that can be dynamically adjusted by a PC-manufacturing partner – a range of power settings on one chip, if you will. This intriguing notion was glossed over somewhat, and we plan to learn more tomorrow.