Features of Ivy Bridge-E processors
The highest performing Intel desktop processors, branded as Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme, are currently built on Sandy Bridge-E (SNB-E) core, a derivative of Sandy Bridge-EP core for servers. Several key differences of "Sandy Bridge-E" processors from "Sandy Bridge" counterparts include extra two CPU cores, larger size of L3 cache, quad-channel memory controller, and support for DDR3-1600 memory. The "-E" processors also use different socket, called LGA2011, or socket 2011. The LGA2011 platform currently consists of three SNB-E SKUs, while the fourth model is coming later this quarter. Next year the LGA2011 platform will be transitioned to Ivy Bridge-E core, and we can expect even faster models to be released.
Ivy Bridge-E (IVB-E) is a variation of Ivy Bridge-EP core. The "-E" processors will inherit some "-EP" enhancements, but not all of them. First and foremost, the number of cores on Ivy Bridge-E parts will be maxed out at 6. This is disappointing if we take into account that "-EP" server CPUs will have 10, or may be even 12 cores (still unconfirmed). Each core on extreme microprocessors will have up to 2.5 MB of level 3 cache, therefore the maximum size of L3 cache (15 MB) won't change from Sandy Bridge-E. 6-core IVB-E models will have 130 Watt TDP. There will be also quad-core parts with 130 Watt TDP. The CPUs will have all Ivy Bridge technologies enabled, with the exception of Trusted Execution. New features on Ivy Bridge-E will be Float 16 instructions, and support for PCI Express 3.0 interface. Besides 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0, the chips will have 4 lanes of DMI 2.0/PCI-E 2.0 interface.
Integrated quad-channel memory controller will have a few improvements too. The maximum memory data rate will be increased to 1866 MHz, and the maximum memory size will be increased as well. Although the controller will still be limited to 1 DIMM per memory channel, it will add support for DDR3 DIMMs with 8 Gb memory, whereas SNB-E could work with 4Gb DIMMs at maximum. Furthermore, the controller will also support 4 ranks per DIMM, as opposed to 2 ranks for Sandy Bridge-E parts.
Ivy Bridge-E processors will be compatible with X79 chipset. Currently, we don't have information on clock speeds and individual SKU features. Please note that posted above specifications are preliminary, and they may change.
Below is the summary of Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E features:
Related News (newer articles):
Mar 30, 2013: Intel Ivy Bridge-E extreme CPUs to launch in Q3 2013
Related News (older articles):
Sep 11, 2012: Details of upcoming Core i7 Extreme processors
Aug 04, 2012: Intel Core i7-3970X in Q4 2012; Ivy Bridge-E in Q3 2013
Nov 21, 2011: Ivy Bridge-E to be compatible with Sandy Bridge-E socket