Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Processors/DSPs

Intel details its first 22nm processor

Posted: 16 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:22nm processor? tri-gate? FinFET transistors?

Intel Corp. gave its first public disclosure of Ivy Bridge, its 22nm processor family. The chips boast significant improvements in on-board graphics, overall performance and a handful of stepwise advances in power management and security.

Intel has long been criticized by rivals AMD and Nvidia for relatively low performance graphics cores used in its chip sets and processors. With Ivy Bridge "we have our foot on the gas, and I would say the gap is closing quicklyin a couple years the gap may be on the competitors' side," said Tom Piazza, an Intel fellow who helped design the graphics cores.

Intel shows off its progress in its ultrabook line
Intel has also revealed progress in its development of ultrabooks, the company's answer to the future of notebooks and tablets. The advances come in the wake of a mania of tablets driven by Apple's ARM-based iPad and the first details of Windows 8 for ARM processors. Learn more about Intel's ultrabook.

Ivy Bridge graphics support Microsoft's Direct X 11 graphics APIs, an area where Intel parts used to lag a generation. They also add support for three simultaneous displays and an L3 cache.

Among the few specific numbers Intel revealed, the graphics support 32 times more scatter/gather operations than the current Sandy Bridge chips. By increasing thread counts and moving to issuing multiple threads in parallel, the cores now support twice the instructions per cycle, Piazza said.

The core is the second to be built on Intel's leading edge process. Previous graphics cores lagged the latest process by one or two generations.

As for media support, Intel revealed the current Sandy Bridge chips can decode in hardware up to 20 HD video streams simultaneously. They also boosted real-time transcoding speeds five-fold over the prior Westmere generation.

Without providing hard numbers, Intel said it enhanced video performance of the Ivy Bridge cores in at least two ways.

Ivy Bridge

Designers boosted media sampler throughput for better scaling and filtering and added new color and contrast enhancements to the pixel-processing at the back end of the process.

The media blocks also added support for encoding using the multiview codec, key to support for stereo 3D.

Overall, the 22nm process with its tri-gate FinFET transistors delivers twice the performance or half the power compared to 32nm Sandy Bridge chips, said Varghese George, a senior principal engineer.

Intel added to the chip a digital random number generator that meets key ANSI and FIPS security standards. It also added a capability to prevent security attacks based on a process requesting an escalation of privileges.

For power management, Ivy Bridge can shut off I/O power to DDR memory in deep sleep states. It can also automatically route threads to the most power efficient core and optimize voltage use to the most optimal level.

Ivy Bridge supports both DDR3 memory and the new DDR3L low power chips. In addition, it allows over-clocking in 200 MHz increments without resetting BIOS, including over-clocking memory up to 2,800 MT/second.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

Article Comments - Intel details its first 22nm process...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top