The development of emerging technology is a race. Development takes time. The new generation of embedded components then needs more time before it’s widely accepted in the industry. Of course, the manufacturer is challenged to keep costs in check while this whole process rolls out.
A look at the industry today draws attention to Ivy Bridge, the third-generation Core processor from Intel (Fig. 1). It’s the newest processor on the market. Owing to its highly attractive feature set, it’s also an ideal candidate for building sophisticated embedded applications. But such leaps in innovation increase the pressure on engineers to keep pace with their implementation.
Ivy Bridge is a good case history, since its improvements in performance, architecture, interface, power savings, graphics definition, and security are rendering it easier for embedded systems manufacturers to advance their own designs and meet the tightening requirements of their markets. As designers take advantage of this technology, processor and systems engineers work together to collectively drive the embedded industry forward.
Table Of Contents
- Improved Chip Architecture
- Enhanced Power Performance
- Better Turbo Boost
- Extended AVX And SEE Instructions
- Improved Peripheral Interface
- Additional Power Savings
- Enhanced On-chip Graphics
- Secure Manageability
With the introduction of the 32-nm process in 2009, Intel maintained its historical doubling of chip functionality every two years by continually reducing transistor dimensions. But as gate lengths went to less than 32 nm, it became more challenging to overcome the fundamental physical limitations imposed by traditional semiconductor materials.
As the size decreased, planar transistors increasingly suffered from the undesirable off-state leakage current, which increased the idle power required by the device. To solve this issue, a radical change in design was needed. With Ivy Bridge chips, Intel has introduced the 22-nm process and the tri-gate transistor (Fig. 2), which, for the first time in history,