While there are still six more months to go until Intel plans to introduce its first processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture, details about these chips keep pouring in and the latest info has come to confirm the names Intel intends to use for these CPUs as well as some of their specifications.
Starting with the Core processor lineup, this will be split into the same i3, i5 and i7 series, but Ivy Bridge parts will carry the 3000 designation, just as is the case with the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors.
Pentium CPUs on the other hand, won't get the same 3000-series designation as their more powerful brothers, but will also move to a new naming scheme that used four digits instead of the usual three.
In addition to the new names, Intel has also operated a series of changes to the maximum TDP's of the processors as these now top at 77W compared to 95W in Sandy Bridge.
This TDP is common for both the high-end Core i7 and Core i5 parts, including the K-series unlocked CPUs.
The rest of the features were pretty much left unaltered so the same characteristics that made the difference between Core i7, i5, i3 and Pentium processors in Sandy Bridge SKUs are also used for Ivy Bridge parts.
Ivy Bridge is the code name used for the 22nm die shrink of the current Sandy Bridge chips and features basically the same architecture, but with a few minor tweaks and improvements.
This includes a new on-die GPU that will come with full DirectX 11 support as well as with 30% more EUs than Sandy Bridge, in order to offer up to 60% faster performance that current Core CPUs according to Intel.
In addition, the processor cores have also received some minor tweaks as their AVX performance was slightly increased and Intel has updated the integrated PCI Express controller to the 3.0 standard.
Right now, Intel's partners received rev. 2 engineering samples of Ivy Bridge processors, but next week the chip maker is expected to start shipping the first QS (qualification sample) chips. The retail version of Ivy Bridge is expected to arrive in March or April of 2012.