What is Intel's Ivy Bridge

What is Intel's Ivy Bridge
About Intel's Ivy Bridge 7/2012 A few words about Intel's newest platform

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Intel’s IVY bridge


Released on marked 5/8/2012. Supporting at the time around 13 CPU-s (i3,i5,i7’s)

Fastest CPU Intel Core i7-3960x (6 cores @ 3.3Ghz with turbo boost up to 3.9 Ghz,32 nm LGA2011)

World’s first 22nm transistors chip.


                                                  ADVANTAGES  vs DISADVANTAGES



                Intel’s IVY bridge provides the new CPU’s with an increased data performance of 5% - 15% compared to the older Intel’s Sandy Bridge motherboards.They also provide a better communication with the video cards, determined by Intel to be around 20% - 50% in performance increase.

            Ivy bridge  uses the 3D transistors(smallest to date 22nm),which use energy 50% more efficiently than the older 2D transistors (link: http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/22nm/pdfs/22nm-Details_Presentation.pdf)

Other features:

a)      Integrated USB 3.0 Support & Thunderbolt (up to 5 Gbit/s or 10x faster than USB 2.0).USB 3.0 has better power management

b)      CPU multiplier increases by 6 (x57 on the Sandy Bridge and x63 on the Ivy bridge)

c)        RAM support up to 2800 MT/s in 200 MHz increments.

d)       The built-in GPU will have 6 or 16 execution units (EUs), compared to Sandy Bridge's 6 or 12.

e)        Intel HD Graphics (The new integrated video :Intel HD Graphics 4000 is realistically 30% - 35% faster than Intel HD Graphics 3000) with DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1, and OpenCL 1.1 support. OpenGL 4.0 is supported with WHQL driversand later drivers.

f)          A new random number generator and the RdRand instruction,[15] codenamed Bull Mountain, (probably due to complaints related to collisions found in RSA encryption. Correct me please if I’m wrong.)

g)       DDR3L and Configurable TDP for mobile processors.[17]

h)       Multiple 4K video playback.

i)          Intel Quick Sync Video (converts video formats faster,as well as HD video)

j)        Has better anti-theft technology, for data protection.




a)      Because of the higher transistor density the cpu and the motherboard will generate more heat per square mm2 (Dies are between 94 - 133 mm2  ) than older model platforms.

b)      Intel used a lower efficient Thermal Insulator between the chips and heat-spreaders, which is noticeable in higher temperatures 20°C higher than older platforms. However gamers can overcome that by using liquid cooling technology, which becomes increasingly popular.

c)       OC Voltages the CPU’s will take with Ivy Bridge are between 1.25V-1.30V,which means they are limited. Why are they so limited?

Read below for a short explanation

It is because any higher current will “seep” trough dielectric of the chip transistors is High-K and the gate electrode of the chip made out of metal. Please check this link for a technical description of Intel’s Chip: http://download.intel.com/technology/silicon/HighK-MetalGate-PressFoils-final.pdf   (you must have Adobe PDF installed to read it)

So you can understand better what is High-K please read this:

Before, Intel used SiO2 (sort of sand,as an electrical insulator inside the chip’s transistor gates).So now, the material Intel used to replace SiO2 must be thicker (to reduce current leakage) but has a higher “K” value (K= a measure of how much electrical charge a material can have, without leaking it).The air we breathe has “K”  value=1.

The K value of “older” technology based on SiO2=3.9

The High-K materials used in Ivy Bridge have a higher K value than 3.9. I determined it to have around 60% more than the SiO2,equaling K= 6.24,which is HUGE! .Correct me if I’m wrong.The exact materials and numbers used in the chips are trade secrets, but it can be a combination of: HfO2 (hafnium dioxide), or ZrO2 (zirconium dioxide) or TiO2 (titanium dioxide), etc.

Using physics, and knowing the transistors gate “triggering” voltage and the K value of the insulator,and the diameter of the insulator you can actually determine the max operating voltage before you have leaks. In layman’s language this means “frying your CPU”)


Thanks for reading,

Alligator PC,                                                                                                                                       Philip S.


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