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Intel Sampling Nehalem-successor ''Sandy Bridge''

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 72 comments

Intel reveals a little more about the next generation of processors after Nehalem.

Although the market is currently buying Intel's matured Nehalem-based chips since the beginning of this year (although Apple only finally caught up just yesterday) with the Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs, the chipmaker has revealed when the next CPU successor, Sandy Bridge will hit.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini yesterday said at a developer forum in Beijing that it's shipping volume samples of Sandy Bridge to customers in Q1 2010 as an early step towards commercial production later this year. Actual chips will be hitting sometime in early 2011.

Initial Sandy Bridge chips will feature dual and quad core configurations before stepping into more complex chips with hexacore or octacore designs. The new chips will run on the LGA1155 Intel 6-Series platform codenamed Cougar Point.

One of the advancements in Sandy Bridge is the addition of Intel Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) instructions, which is designed to accelerate multimedia such as image, video, and audio processing, as well as engineering applications, including 3D modeling and analysis, scientific simulation, and financial analytics.

Sandy Bridge will also continue support for the Intel AES New Instructions (AES-NI), seven software instructions that accelerate data encryption and decryption. Sandy Bridge will also integrate Intel's sixth-generation graphics core and will include acceleration for floating point, video, and processor intensive software most often found in media applications.

Intel will be sticking with its 32nm process technology, which the company has been proud to say that it is the fastest ramp ever, for the first Sandy Bridge iterations.

"In our manufacturing environment our factory teams have executed the ramp of our 32nm process superbly. We exceeded output expectations with lower costs than originally anticipated and are currently shipping over fifty SKUs on 32nm process. 32nm is our fastest ramping process ever and I am pleased to note we are accelerating the ramp of our third and fourth 32nm factories faster than our original plan, such that by early Q4 we will have four factories in production on 32nm," said Mr. Otellini.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    John_Dune , April 15, 2010 1:24 AM
    god, i hope that lga 1155 is a typo
  • 29 Hide
    daship , April 15, 2010 1:23 AM
    Whoa slow down with the sockets already!!!!!!
  • 23 Hide
    vant , April 15, 2010 1:45 AM
    Great, I'm going to have to change my mobo again?
Other Comments
    Display all 72 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    one-shot , April 15, 2010 1:17 AM
    I have a nice home ready for an 8 Core Sandy Bridge Variant.
  • 29 Hide
    daship , April 15, 2010 1:23 AM
    Whoa slow down with the sockets already!!!!!!
  • 33 Hide
    John_Dune , April 15, 2010 1:24 AM
    god, i hope that lga 1155 is a typo
  • 14 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 15, 2010 1:24 AM
    Quote:
    Initial Sandy Bridge chips will feature dual and quad core configurations before stepping into more complex chips with hexacore or octacore designs. The new chips will run on the LGA1155 Intel 6-Series platform codenamed Cougar Point.

    What about us LGA1136 users?
  • 11 Hide
    pbrigido , April 15, 2010 1:24 AM
    It just seems like Intel is on a mission to dominate. The CPU market is becoming a bit lopsided...hopefully AMD will ramp up their game a bit.
  • 12 Hide
    frostyfireball , April 15, 2010 1:36 AM
    pbrigidoIt just seems like Intel is on a mission to dominate. The CPU market is becoming a bit lopsided...hopefully AMD will ramp up their game a bit.
    That's what bulldozer is for, to even the game up a bit, I sure hope that works out as they expect it to.
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2010 1:37 AM
    So, we can drool all over what is essentially a die-shrunk Core i7 with a crap IGP on die and a few extra instructions, or, about the same time, we will get AMD Fusion with 480 Evergreen stream processors attached directly to the cores, ushering in a new era of feasibility for mainstream GPGPU applications as well as high performance, low latency graphics. I've got a good idea of who's getting my money next generation.
  • 11 Hide
    duckmanx88 , April 15, 2010 1:44 AM
    another socket type. -__-

    im stuck on this 939 pin. sigh
  • 23 Hide
    vant , April 15, 2010 1:45 AM
    Great, I'm going to have to change my mobo again?
  • 7 Hide
    henrystrawn , April 15, 2010 1:54 AM
    Looks like my decision to upgrade my LGA 775 rather than chasing this transitional phase, was a prudent one.
  • 19 Hide
    Kelavarus , April 15, 2010 1:54 AM
    It's getting annoying how there's no upgrade path with Intel. Just about every new processor line is a new socket that has no backwards compatibility of any sort.
  • 6 Hide
    idisarmu , April 15, 2010 1:56 AM
    John_Dunegod, i hope that lga 1155 is a typo


    Me too. The reason many people get i7 9XX + X58 nowadays is to prepare for the future hexa and octo cores. If the only Hex-core they get is the i7 980X, there will be MANY MANY angry gamers out there.
  • 11 Hide
    papasmurf , April 15, 2010 2:05 AM
    I'm with all the others irritated about the socket changes, my p6t deluxe cost 250 dollars why can't I keep it for another upgrade? x58 not good enough? I know there is a 6 core lga 1366 but I can't afford the extreme edition price, maybe if the "mainstream" one comes out at a reasonable price I'll upgrade, for now the 920 is doing well and I can't justify another 200 dollar mainboard and 250 dollar cpu the wife would beat me.
  • 3 Hide
    backin5 , April 15, 2010 2:07 AM
    John_Dunegod, i hope that lga 1155 is a typo


    According to WikiPedia it isn't :( 
    1155 and 1356 for high end.

    There's still a bit of hope for us though, since those pin counts are less than the current pin count. If they keep the pin assignments, and if the current chipsets are modular enough to allow versatile power requirements, they can still make it work in the current 1156 and 1366 motherboards, theoretically.

    The AM3 sockets have more pins than AM2+, but the AM3 CPUs only use 938 pins, and so they can fit in the 940 pin AM2 sockets. It's not the same situation, but still.

    I know I'm crossing my fingers to keep my P55 system usable with those future CPUs.
  • -1 Hide
    vincentyu , April 15, 2010 2:14 AM
    With LGA 1155 my guess is that intel is replacing DMI link to PCH chip with QPI for bigger bandwidth to accomodate sata 6GB and USB 3.0.
  • -3 Hide
    gekko668 , April 15, 2010 2:16 AM
    We are keeping on bombarded with Intel news! we definitely need more AMD news.
  • 2 Hide
    andy5174 , April 15, 2010 2:16 AM
    @backin5:
    Why would you worry about the upgrade path? Your LGA1156 CPU is far less than a year old.
  • 9 Hide
    eugenester , April 15, 2010 2:18 AM
    Hexacores are useless for gaming, only for bragging rights.
  • 6 Hide
    elel , April 15, 2010 2:19 AM
    Wow, I though that the x86 instruction set was already bloated!
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