Intel released Ivy Bridge (mircoarchitecture) processors which are backwards compatible with the Sandy Bridge platform. The first 22-nanmoter processor with "tri-gate", USB 3.0 and HD 4000 (graphics component). The new 7 series Panther-Point chipsets with integrated USB3.0 were also released to complement Ivy Bridge.
Ivy Bridge feature improvements over Sandy Bridge include:
Tri-gate transistor ("3-D") technology (up to 50% less power consumption at the same performance level as 2-D planar transistors).
PCI Express 3.0 support.
Max CPU multiplier of 63 (57 for Sandy Bridge).
RAM support up to 2800 MT/s in 200 MHz increments.
Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000 with DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1, and OpenCL 1.1 support. OpenGL 4.0 is supported with 188.8.131.5229 beta drivers and later drivers.
The built-in GPU will have 6 or 16 execution units (EUs), compared to Sandy Bridge's 6 or 12.
A new random number generator and the RdRand instruction, codenamed Bull Mountain.
DDR3L and Configurable TDP for mobile processors.
Multiple 4K video playback.
Intel Quick Sync Video.
Compared to Sandy Bridge:
5% to 15% increase in CPU performance
20% to 50% increase in integrated GPU performance