Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics Developer's Guides

Published:04/23/2012   Last Updated:04/23/2012

Latest Intel Graphics Developer's Guide

Note: The Developer's Guide on this page is for the 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ processor family. For the LATEST Intel Graphics Developer's Guide, go to

Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture


This guide was created to assist developers in maximizing application performance on new Intel® graphics technologies, primarily focused on the new Intel® microarchitecture codenamed Ivy Bridge. The document will introduce the new architecture and detail best practices with a focus on the DirectX 9, 10 and 11 APIs. Following the guidelines laid out in this document will help the developer’s game reach optimal performance on Intel processor graphics while providing a great gaming experience to the largest possible market. As reported by Mercury Research in the second quarter of 2011, Intel’s combined integrated graphics line currently enjoys the largest market share, standing at 50.4% for desktop parts, 59% for mobile parts.

With the introduction of the Intel microarchitecture codenamed Sandy Bridge, the graphics processor has moved onto the same die as the CPU, and is now referred to as “processor graphics”. In addition, processor graphics has enjoyed numerous architectural improvements that yield significant performance improvements over previous generations of Intel® integrated graphics parts.

The new generation of microarchitecture, codenamed Ivy Bridge, provides another jump in functionality and performance over Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. Ivy Bridge microarchitecture is manufactured on the new 22nm process technology, incorporating Intel’s new tri-gate (or 3D) transistor technology. This innovative new process yields greater performance at much lower power. For example, the new tri-gate transistors exhibit 36% faster switching speed than the equivalent transistors on the legacy process at the same voltage. Tri-gate transistors also leak about 10x less current in their off state, resulting in a power saving of approximately 50% when using a comparable performance profile.


Download the Latest Guide (published April 24th, 2012)

To read the rest of the Ivy Bridge Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for Intel HD Graphics, download Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture [PDF 505 KB]



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Software developers can go to the forum at and post questions/comments about the complete line of Intel's graphics chipset solutions. If you are a game developer, many useful documents including everything from multithreading to audio, are available at  Intel HD Graphics driver support page is here:

Previous Developer's Guides

For Developer’s Guides to generations of Intel graphics hardware prior to Ivy Bridge, go to:

Intel 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture Graphics Developer's Guide
Intel HD Graphics Developer's Guide
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Series 4 Developer's Guide
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Series 3 Developer's Guide



Related Guides



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Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

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