What's in a name? According to Arie Harsat, the strategic planning manager behind several of Intel's prominent codenames, including "Yonah" (Intel's 1st gen 65 nm mobile microprocessors) "Merom" (Yonah's successor), "Sandy Bridge" and now "Ivy Bridge", it's not as mystical as you might think.
Speaking to Intel's Free Press news site, Harsat said,
"You might think there's a lot of meaning behind the name, but the reality is I just tried to find a nice name that could pass the legal test."
So how did Harsat come up with "Ivy Bridge"?
For its predecessor, "Sandy Bridge", Harsat originally named the microarchitecture "Gesher," the Hebrew word for "bridge." The rationale being that his team was responsible for defining a new generation of microarchitecture or, as Harsat puts it, "a bridge into the future."
However, when it was pointed out to him that "Gesher" is also a political party in Israel, the codename was translated to English, and then added to "Sandy". Harsat admits that he can't quite remember where the "Sandy" part came from but Intel Free Press suggests, "it may or may not be a nod to beach sand, the prime ingredient of silicon wafers."
For "Ivy Bridge", Harsat wanted consistency and a smooth approval process and, working off of "Bridge", searched for something purely American.
"There are so many places in the U.S. named something Bridge or Bridge something. I found 'Ivy Bridge' and I said to myself, 'that's a nice name and ivy is a nice plant.'"
And that's how Intel's 3rd generation Core processors got their codename.
Source: Intel Free Press