Ivy Bridge is a ‘tick‘ in the ‘tick/tock’ development phase for Intel. In basic terms, a ‘tick’ is an advance in manufacturing technology whereas a ‘tock’ is a new micro architecture.
The diagram above explains how the tick/tock process has progressed over the years. Nehalem was built around the 45 nm manufacturing process technology. In the ‘tick’ that followed after this (32nm), Intel moved towards faster computing speeds, reduced power consumption and more sophisticated applications. The Sandybridge 32nm ‘tock’ after this allowed Intel to improve mainstream gaming, Web and mainstream gaming.
The new Ivy Bridge platform is the latest ‘tick’ cycle which is said to deliver higher processing capabilities while demanding less power at the socket. Intel are also focusing on processor graphic performance and media acceleration.
Above, our engineering sample of the Core i7 3770k processor, built around the 22nm manufacturing process. This is the worlds first ‘3D Transistor’ manufactured at 22nm. The retail price for the 3770k is said to be $313.
Above is an overview of the new Ivybridge processor with four cores, and the shared Level 3 cache. The graphics core is now called the Intel Graphics 4000 and ships with Direct X 11 support. Die size is 160mm2 and the transistor count is 1.4 billion.
The new processor can support three independent displays, as shown above. The display engine integrated into the processor has embedded DisplayPort. The FDI channels send pixel data from the CPU to PCH. The transmitter and receiver enhancements configure 8 lanes as 1×4 and 2×2 lane configurations.
The processor supports:
– HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
– DisplayPort with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Intel claim a 2x performance increase from HD4000 when compared against the last generation HD3000.
Above, an overview of the 3770k in CPUz. There are four cores and four more threads, for a total of eight logical cores. Each core runs at 3.5ghz, but can turbo to 3.9ghz depending on the thermal conditions. There is 8MB of Level 3 cache. The onboard Intel HD4000 graphics core runs at 650mhz with a maximum dynamic frequency of 1,150mhz.