At this year's Computex fair, Intel has presented to the press some of the technologies that will make their way into the company's upcoming Ivy Bridge architecture and one of the most important news disclosed was that the chip will feature a configurable TDP.
What this means is that the chip will be able to increase the TDP by ramping up its frequency, depending on the load placed on the cores by the tasks run, until a certain critical temperature is reached.
All this will happen automatically and it will be controlled by the CPU's Turbo Boost technology.
Intel hasn't commented on just how much the TDP can be increased, but you can imagine that, for such a technology to be effective, the gap between the minimum and maximum TDP has to be pretty massive (i.e. going from 15W to 35W).
The new configurable TDP technology will also support a special docked mode, which will allow the processor to exceed the system's TDP consistently when installed in a special dock with extra cooling.
As noted earlier, Ivy Bridge is going to be the first chip in Intel's arsenal to get configurable a TDP, but the technology isn't expected to reach maturity until Haswell arrives in 2013.
In addition to the new configurable TDP design, Intel also mentioned that the Ivy Bridge platform will be the first to integrate support for Thunderbolt at the chipset level.
Intel's Ivy Bridge processors are a die 22nm shrink of the Sandy Bridge core and feature an improved GPU with DirectX 11 support and more EUs, better AVX performance, an integrated PCI Express 3.0 controller as well as native USB 3.0 support thanks to the Panther Point chipsets.
These first Ivy Bridge processors are expected to debut in March/April 2012 and will rapidly take the place of the current Sandy Bridge CPUs.