Ivy Bridge is the code name for Intel's third generation of Core processors. The Ivy Bridge processors resemble the Sandy Bridge (second generation) processors, but have slightly smaller physical size and somewhat more processing power.
All of the Ivy Bridge chips are quad core processors (except for one economy version). They have clock speeds ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 Ghz (gigahertz) and a cache size of 6 or 8 MB (megabytes) depending on the particular chip. The Ivy Bridge processors employ 22-nm (nanometer) architecture, a drop of almost 1/3 relative to previous chips. Ivy Bridge processors are backward compatible with Sandy Bridge processors.
Features of the Ivy Bridge processors that represent significant assets or improvements over previous processors, in addition to the characteristics mentioned above, include:
- A smaller central processor, which makes more room for the integrated graphics chip, yielding improved display performance.
- Smaller physical chip size, allowing for somewhat faster processing speeds.
- Support for PCI Express 3.0 and DDR3L (low-voltage) memory.
- Enhanced security features.
- Reduced power consumption, translating to lower electric bills and simplified cooling requirements.
- Replacement of DirectX 10.1 (DX10.1) support with DX11 capabilities, improving processor speed and functionality.
- Ivy Bridge processors work with Sandy Bridge motherboards, and vice-versa.