Recently, Intel has been making great strides with its CPU integrated graphics, early reports suggesting that Sandy Bridge can deliver better performance than some entry-level GPUs, but, if latest rumors are true, this could be just the beginning as Ivy Bride will feature an improved design capable of supporting up to 1GB of on-chip graphics memory.
The greatest problem that integrated graphics solutions face today, from a performance standpoint, is that the system's memory is a great deal slower than the dedicated video buffer used by stand-alone GPUs.
Although integrating the memory controller as well as the GPU inside the CPU core has alleviated this by a great deal, even fast DDR3 memory can't make up for the bandwidth gap that exists between processor integrated graphics and dedicated GPUs.
To put things into perspective, a fast Core i7 900-series CPU, with triple channel 2000MHz DDR3 memory, tops out at 48GB/s while a mainstream video card, such as the Radeon HD 6970 can deliver an impressive 152.3GB/s.
But, according to SemiAccurate, Intel may have found a solution for this problem as the company presumably considers introducing on-chip video buffer in the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, by using stacked memory a technology called silicon interposing.
By pairing this two solutions together, Intel would be able to include impressive amounts of video memory in their CPUs, silicon interposing driving the cost of such a solution down. Manufacturing costs will be also held in check by using LPDDR2 memory.
In addition, this is the only memory that is available in stacks, so Intel is pretty much forced to use it.
Since LPDDR2 is slow in comparison with present-day memory solutions, Intel will have to make up for this by using a much wider memory interface, sources stating that a 512-bit bus is the most likely candidate.
Paired with LPDDR2 memory, such a wide bus will allow for a bandwidth equivalent to that of the AMD Radeon 5770.
As for the video buffer size, Intel could go with as much as 1GB of memory in its high end mobile processors.
Finally, if the news are indeed true, Ivy Bridge could prove to be quite a different beast all together since its graphics performance will, most certainly, allow it to compete with most entry-level GPUs, especially on the notebook side.