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Intel's Ivy Bridge chips launch using '3D transistors'

 

Intel is launching its Ivy Bridge family of processors - the first to feature what it describes as a "3D transistor".

 

The American firm says the innovation allows it to offer more computational power while using less energy.

 

The initial release includes 13 quad-core processors, most of which will be targeted at desktop computers.

 

Further dual core processors, suitable for ultrabooks - thin laptops - will be announced "later this spring".

 

...

 

Mr Skaugen said that those who use the integrated GPU (graphics processing unit) on the chips, rather than a separate graphics card, would see some of the biggest gains.

 

He said the processing speed had been significantly boosted since Sandy Bridge, meaning devices would be capable of handling high-definition video conferences and the 4K resolution offered by top-end video cameras.

 

...

 

The chips also offer new hardware-based security facilities as well as built-in USB 3.0 support.

 

...

 

AMD plans to reduce the amount of power its upcoming Piledriver chips consume by using "resonant clock mesh technology" - a new process which recycles the energy used by the processor. However, full details about how it will work and a release date are yet to be announced.

 

Intel's 3D tri-gate transistors

 

Traditionally transistors have used "flat" planar gates designed to switch on and off as quickly as possible, letting the maximum amount of current flow when they are switched on, and minimum when they are switched off.

 

The transistors gates in Ivy Bridge chips are just 22nm long (1nm = 1 billionth of a metre), meaning you could fit more than 4,000 of them across the width of a human hair.

 

Intel plans to incorporate 14nm transistors by 2013 and 10nm by 2015.

 

The problem is that the smaller that planar gates become, the more energy leakage occurs unless their switching speed is compromised.

 

Intel's solution has been to make the transistors "3D" - replacing the "2D" gates with super-thin fins that rise up from the silicon base. Three gates are wrapped around each fin - two on each side and the other across the top.

 

There are several advantages beyond the fact that more transistors can be packed into the same space.

  • Current leakage is reduced to near zero while the gates can still switch on and off more than 100 billion times per second.
  • Less power is needed to carry out the same action.
  • The innovation only adds 2-3% to the cost of making a chip.

 

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Wikipedia: Ivy Bridge (microarchitecture)

 

Expect more news and reviews over the next couple of days. Rumor has it that Ivy Bridge chips might have an overheating problem related to firmware.

 

Intel Core i7-3770K Review: A Small Step Up From Sandy Bridge

Edited by jaxa

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Awesome, can't wait to get see some benches for this thing (I won't personally be buying one as I have a 2600k Sandy Bridge, but it's good to keep up on this stuff)


Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K @ 3.4ghz stock clocks
8gb Kingston 1600mhz CL8 XMP RAM stock frequency
Sapphire Radeon HD7870 2GB FLeX GHz Edition @ stock @ 1920x1080

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What I'm really interested in is a cheap (sub-$500 (or 400) laptop that can play TDM. Ivy Bridge and Llano are a stepping stone to this. Perhaps Trinity will make this happen...


--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Like most of us I have a Corei5 2500K and the Ivy bridge version isnt worth the effort or the money to upgrade too, so will wait for the next version etc.

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well, i've got a z68, so I could drop an ivy in. But i just got my i5 and it's running pretty nice.


Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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Like most of us I have a Corei5 2500K...

 

?

 

?

 

er

 

??

 

Most of?

 

Wha?

 

?

 

The i5 25?

 

Most?

 

Who?

 

???

 

Come again?

 

Really?

 

?

 

Whasi?

 

?!??

 

...

 

Anyway, this sounds more like a giant leap to me! These actual systems engineers, the chip builders, are the actual geniuses. Sure it's always best to sit back for a generation or two but this does sound like an extremely promising tech.

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Most of us usually sit out for more than one generation before upgrading. I certainly do. There's only one rule: as long as the system does everything you need it to, don't bother upgrading. Only reason I upgraded from an Athlon 64 was for TDM. lol

 

The bad news for Intel/AMD is since the mainstream computer game market isn't what it was a decade ago, there's less reason to jump on the new platforms.


--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Yeah, maybe, moot and whatnot, but they did NOT build the trigate transistor for games.

 

...several advantages beyond the fact that more transistors can be packed into the same space: Current leakage is reduced to near zero while the gates can still switch on and off more than 100 billion times per second; Less power is needed to carry out the same action; The innovation only adds 2-3% to the cost of making a chip...

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Maybe most of us don't have an i5-2500, but it's been hailed as the "best processor you need", "best for overclocking", "best value", and Ivy Bridge isn't going to change that.

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Not unless they can put out an Ivy Bridge "2500k" at the same price point - though reading the AnandTech review, it seems the 22nm process is a lot more sensitive to voltage, you can't just do the quick 'n' dirty SB overclock (which is throw 1.4v at the cpu, set multiplier to 45/46 (4.5 and 4.6ghz)) and expect it to work. Seems 1.1 to 1.2v is about the sweet spot for it, which seems like an indication that the tech is just getting too small. I actually wonder, with the IB sensitivity to voltage, if reasonable overclocks are even going to be feasible if they take the process down below 22nm.


Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K @ 3.4ghz stock clocks
8gb Kingston 1600mhz CL8 XMP RAM stock frequency
Sapphire Radeon HD7870 2GB FLeX GHz Edition @ stock @ 1920x1080

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Fair enough, ok "some of us" but if you dont have sandybridge and you can buy a new mobo/ivyB for the same cost as SandyB then yeah its a worthy upgrade..

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Slightly off topic, but I currently have a "Bloomfield" I7 920. I'm debating whether to upgrade to an i7 3820, but I'm not finding much reason to. Twice the bandwidth for RAM transfer is nice (51 vs 25 GB/s). The clock rate increase of 3.6 vs 2.7 GHz is not that big a deal to me. 30% more is not worth buying a new CPU for me (although I know the actual performance increase can be more than just the clock rate, e.g., if they do other things to increase the actual FLOPs). Does anyone have an opinion on this? I guess if there's a lower-end IvyB that way outperforms the 920, that would be cool too, but I feel like they're still all priced about the same.

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The IPC (instructions per clock) are higher on Sandy and Ivy Bridge cpu's, making them more efficient. Whether or not you "need" to upgrade to one depends entirely on what you're using your computer for, IMO. You might be able to scrape by for another few years with just an overclock on your CPU, and possibly more RAM.


Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K @ 3.4ghz stock clocks
8gb Kingston 1600mhz CL8 XMP RAM stock frequency
Sapphire Radeon HD7870 2GB FLeX GHz Edition @ stock @ 1920x1080

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Whether or not you "need" to upgrade to one depends entirely on what you're using your computer for, IMO

Mostly gaming of course, and occasional finite difference time domain simulations.

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In that case I would recommend the overclock/extra ram/upgrade graphics card every so often route instead of Ivy Bridge, unless you MUST have something new then you could look out for one of those Microcentre (if in the US) specials on a Sandy Bridge 2500k/mobo.


Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K @ 3.4ghz stock clocks
8gb Kingston 1600mhz CL8 XMP RAM stock frequency
Sapphire Radeon HD7870 2GB FLeX GHz Edition @ stock @ 1920x1080

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