In a quiet corner of its website, Intel has shed light on a few aspects of the integrated graphics component inside its next-generation Ivy Bridge processor—the 22-nm "tock" that will follow Sandy Bridge. Intel Senior Software Engineer Philip Taylor revealed the details as part of an interview related to game development. Here's the official transcript:
• What is coming down the line this year? What is Ivy Bridge going to bring for game developers?
We have more graphics and multi-core samples coming, until they are a bit further along I don’t want to say too much, but you could expect post processing, texturing, terrain, that sort of thing
Ivy Bridge is going to be an exciting product. Not only does it continue with the improvements AVX processor SIMD vector capabilities D3D11 and DX Compute Shader, 30 percent more EUs ( execution units ) and supports up to 3 displays and HDMI 1.4a, and an overall bandwidth boost from PCI 3.
That last bit should probably be "PCIe 3," which I'm pretty sure is what Taylor said. (You can listen about 10 minutes into the video.) We've heard whispers about Ivy Bridge featuring built-in PCI Express 3.0 connectivity before.
The talk about DirectX 11 support and triple-display capabilities is interesting, because those happen to be two of the main selling points AMD uses to promote its latest entry-level graphics cards. Also, with 30% more execution units, Ivy Bridge's integrated graphics component could turn out to be faster. I think that's good news for PC gaming in general—not just because Intel will raise the bar of what a cheap PC can do, but because AMD and Nvidia will likely have to counter with quicker entry-level GPUs, too.