Connecting with a Real Ivy Bridge

Ivy Bridge chip designer searches for meaning at a 13th century landmark.

Intel Ivy Bridge namesake Ivybridge spans the river Erme in southern England’s Devon County

Located in its namesake town, the stone Ivybridge dates to the 13th century and spans the river Erme in southern England's Devon County.

Before it officially became the third-generation Core processor, Intel’s newest chip was known only by its internal codename, Ivy Bridge. That name inspired Rob Milstrey, an Intel engineer who worked on the chip design, to visit a historic ivy-covered bridge in southern England.

The 13th century stone bridge arches over the river Erme in Devon. According to local legend, it’s the first manmade landmark in the area and inspired the town name: Ivybridge.

“I walked across,” said Milstrey, who is based in Folsom, Calif. “I looked for plaques or other documenting descriptions, but I didn’t find anything.”

He continued exploring the town of 12,000, visiting local churches and cemeteries, Ivybridge Community College and nearby Dartmoor National Park.

Milstrey, a lead uncore architect on the third-generation Intel Core processor, takes great pride in his contributions to the microprocessor though they are somewhat overshadowed by other features of the chip such as the 22-nanometer Tri-Gate transistors and integrated graphics engine.

“I focused on adding PCIe Gen 3 logic to the CPU,” he said.

The third-generation chips are the first from Intel to integrate Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe. The addition, which allows faster data transfer than previous generations, was a key aspect of the uncore development. Uncore refers to microprocessor functions that are not in the core, but are essential for core performance.

Although Ivy Bridge and other internal Intel codenames derive from geographic locations in North America, Milstrey was eager to discover an Ivy Bridge-Ivybridge connection in England. Such a connection eluded him until he came upon a bus stop sign that read, “The four corners of the ‘Ivy Bridge’ originally laid in the parishes of Harford, Ugborough, Ermington and Cornwood.”

“There are four big elements of the new processor, too,” he said. “The Intel architecture cores, the graphics cores, memory accesses and I/O accesses for which the uncore provides a logical bridge.”

Milstrey says that PCIe Gen 3 may not be the most remarkable aspect of the new Intel technology, but it will always be the most memorable and meaningful to him.

Connecting with a Real Ivy Bridge

Ivy Bridge chip designer searches for meaning at a 13th century landmark.

Intel Ivy Bridge namesake Ivybridge spans the river Erme in southern England’s Devon County

Located in its namesake town, the stone Ivybridge dates to the 13th century and spans the river Erme in southern England's Devon County.

Before it officially became the third-generation Core processor, Intel’s newest chip was known only by its internal codename, Ivy Bridge. That name inspired Rob Milstrey, an Intel engineer who worked on the chip design, to visit a historic ivy-covered bridge in southern England.

The 13th century stone bridge arches over the river Erme in Devon. According to local legend, it’s the first manmade landmark in the area and inspired the town name: Ivybridge.

“I walked across,” said Milstrey, who is based in Folsom, Calif. “I looked for plaques or other documenting descriptions, but I didn’t find anything.”

He continued exploring the town of 12,000, visiting local churches and cemeteries, Ivybridge Community College and nearby Dartmoor National Park.

Milstrey, a lead uncore architect on the third-generation Intel Core processor, takes great pride in his contributions to the microprocessor though they are somewhat overshadowed by other features of the chip such as the 22-nanometer Tri-Gate transistors and integrated graphics engine.

“I focused on adding PCIe Gen 3 logic to the CPU,” he said.

The third-generation chips are the first from Intel to integrate Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe. The addition, which allows faster data transfer than previous generations, was a key aspect of the uncore development. Uncore refers to microprocessor functions that are not in the core, but are essential for core performance.

Although Ivy Bridge and other internal Intel codenames derive from geographic locations in North America, Milstrey was eager to discover an Ivy Bridge-Ivybridge connection in England. Such a connection eluded him until he came upon a bus stop sign that read, “The four corners of the ‘Ivy Bridge’ originally laid in the parishes of Harford, Ugborough, Ermington and Cornwood.”

“There are four big elements of the new processor, too,” he said. “The Intel architecture cores, the graphics cores, memory accesses and I/O accesses for which the uncore provides a logical bridge.”

Milstrey says that PCIe Gen 3 may not be the most remarkable aspect of the new Intel technology, but it will always be the most memorable and meaningful to him.