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IDF Day 1: Many bridges abound… Sandy, Ivy, and more

Not only did Intel show the new varieties of Sandy Bridge, but also briefed the audience about Ivy Bridge in more detail than before.

Today's Intel CEO keynote at IDF referred many times to the new Socket 2011 Xeons and their desktop brethren, for cases such as reconstructing the St Peter Rome Church interior in full 3-D from millions of photographs – where Intel claims the new Xeons do the job 50% faster than the old Westmere-based 6-core ones, to Dreamworks' Jeff Katzenberg testimony about the new generation processors for their 3-D animation renderings.

There were both single and dual socket 2011 platforms on the show floor, the single-processors ones open for everyone to see. And, both Intel and MSI had desktop boards with whopping 8 (eight) memory sockets on X79 chipsets for 64 GB RAM desktops! Now, the question is why would most users need such high capacity, but then, there are users who don't need too many CPU cores, just need a lot of memory. This is the answer to them. Otherwise, the usual X79 Socket 2011 boards with 4 DIMMs, means one per channel, can fine tune their tracing easier for slightly better memory performance.
Let's cut to the chase: the Ivy Bridge technical presentation was the most interesting one. Have a look at the key points here, in summary, after the discussions post presentation.
1 – Process advantage: the tri-gate 22 nm CMOS process will give Ivy Bridge both power and performance advantage, where it would either nearly match current Sandy Bridge clock speed but at half power, or gain more than 20% extra speed at the same power.
2 – Much faster (at least 2x) integrated GPU with full DX11 support and enhancements including DirectCompute, and matching speedups in the video multimedia department, and triple display support
3 – Speedups in the core and the caches, as well as better overclocking for cores and memory
4 – New instructions
5 – Digital Random number generator
6 – Improved protection from some hacking attacks
You can see the content of key slides here on the photos, but the key point overall is that the thing is ready, seems to benefit both desktop and mobile market right at start, and should be expected by March 2012 as of now… Have a look at the slides!

Nebojsa Novakovic
In the spare time over the past two decades, editor and writer of high-end computer hardware and design features and analysis for European and US media and analyst houses. Reviews of high end hardware are my specialty for 28 years already.

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