Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about the launch of the 3rd-generation Intel® Core™ processors (formerly codenamed “Ivy Bridge”). But do you know what these new chips can do for you? Before we answer that question, let’s review the basics: The new processors are the first to use Intel’s 22nm fabrication process, which provides up to 20% better performance in the same thermal envelope as the previous generation. The biggest news, however, is the majorly upgraded graphics engine, which offers an up to 2X boost in 3D performance and support for 3 displays. I/O also gets a major upgrade – new support for PCI Express* Gen 3 and USB 3.0 more than double I/O throughput.




In practical terms, this translates to systems with greater features at lower cost. Consider digital signage. The bump in processing power makes it easier to support intense workloads like anonymous viewer analytics (AVA) – a technology that lets signs see their audience and adjust their advertising accordingly. (For example if the sign detects a young woman, it might show an ad for high heels, while a young man might see ads for sports shoes.) At the same time, the triple-display support and improved graphics support can eliminate the need for a separate graphics card, cutting system costs.


The Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance offers a wide array of solutions that can help you realize these benefits. For example, Emerson Network Power just published an article showing how to build advanced signage. For additional reading, I recommend my colleague Maury Wright’s blog on the Open Pluggable Specification. Using this new signage standard is another great way to cut costs and keep up with the latest technologies. For even more design ideas, check out my recent retail and signage blog.




For a broader look at Alliance solution, register for our upcoming webinar. This event will show how the over 200 members of the Alliance collaborate with Intel to provides a wide range of optimized hardware, software, tools, and services. The event will cover a wide range of applications, including, digital signage, healthcare, mil/aero, and industrial automation.


Speaking of automation, Portwell has a new article showing how the new processor can improve throughput on production lines and enhance the worker experience. For more examples of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors in the factory, check out the industrial automation blog from my colleague Warren Webb. And of course you can check out my recent factory automation overview.




It’s also worth noting that the 3rd generation Intel Core processors carry forward a number of useful features introduced in earlier generations, such as the Intel® vPro™ suite of hardware-assisted security and management technologies. These technologies include:


  • Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), which provides remote diagnosis and repair
  • Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT), which supplies security protection over and above ordinary software solutions
  • Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT), which enables secure task separation, e.g., for systems that mix open-source and high-security software.


Together, these technologies provide a foundation for proactive threat deterrence – and Wind River has just written an article showing how these technologies are part of the six foundational strategies for security. You can also learn more in Maury’s recent manageability blog.


The links I’ve noted here show just a few examples of the solutions available from the Alliance. To learn more about the Alliance and its solutions, see intel.com/go/embeddedalliance


Emerson Network Power and Portwell are Premier members of the Intel® Embedded Alliance. Wind River is an Associate member of the Alliance.


Kenton Williston

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance

Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine

Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston