During mornings keynote Shmuel "Mooly" Eden, General Manager of PC Client Group announced developments the company made with the upcoming Ivy Bridge architecture.

Shmuel Mooly Eden, Intel's outspoken executive
Shmuel Mooly Eden, Intel’s outspoken executive

For starters, the Ivy Bridge will pack 1.45 billion transistors in 22nm note, up by 45% from Sandy Bridge’s 995 million. The quote is considering the quad-core version of the processor, alongside with the increased graphics performance.

A mockup of Intel Ivy Bridge design. We agree with the mockup, since Intel likes to hide the fact that 70% of the die is SRAM cache (hidden in lower layers)
A mockup of Intel Ivy Bridge design. We agree completely about the mockup, since Intel likes to hide the fact that 70% of their dies is nothing else but SRAM cache (hidden in lower layers)

For the first time in quite a few generations, Ivy Bridge is pin-to-pin compatible with the existing Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.

Mooly called the Ivy Bridge a "Tick Plus", not just the regular die shrink from the Intel’s well known tick-tock cadence. The graphics performance is significantly increased, and for the first time Intel will be compatible with Microsoft’s DirectX 11 API. Intel demonstrated the video of Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2 running on Intel’s integrated graphics alone. True, the graphics quality reminded us of first games for Xbox 360 – but still it shows a nice increase in performance.