Intel's Sandy Bridge platform shook up the overclocking status quo earlier this year by relying only on CPU multiplier for massive overclocks, rather than the more conventional tweaking of Multiplier and Base Clock standard on AMD and Intel platforms for some time now. P67 did allow for some minimal adjustment of BLCK from the base 100MHz - up-to 5MHz in either direction - but resulting instability tended to make it an irrelevant feature. So-much-so that many enthusiasts wondered what exactly the point of the feature was.
Well, wonder no longer. It's reported that Ivy Bridge, Intel's 22nm refresh of Sandy Bridge, will feature extensive BCLK overclocking options. However it won't be quite like we're used to with Intel platforms of the recent past. Instead a series of discrete BCLK's will be available, which will then be able to be fine tuned by the +-5% seen with the current Sandy Bridge Platform. This may get the more veteran 'clockers a wee bit dew-eyed - it wasn't all that different in the days of the slot-loaded Pentium (though hopefully we'll be able to forgo the rigmarole of jumpers, dip-switches and the like). The range of available BCLK's isn't yet known but official memory support should finally surpass DDR3-1333, with unofficial support beyond DDR3-2133. The reports tally well with comments from motherboard manufacturers earlier this year that indicated BCLK overclocking would be an important feature going forward even if it isn't at the moment.
Quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU's should be heading our way in early in 2012, with dual-cores versions coming some time later. Existing P67 and Z68 motherboards may be compatible with a BIOS update.