Intel's Sandy Bridge chip and platform is the top-of-the-line right now and it's what you want if you're looking for a new Intel-based desktop or laptop.
Sandy Bridge's successor, Ivy Bridge, was originally thought to debut late in 2011, but now an updated Intel roadmap along with comments made by executives at Computex confirm that the next generation processor will debut in 2012 instead.
This leaked slide found by a Chinese site plots out Ivy Bridge's entry sometime during March and April next year.
Futhermore, Intel's Executive Vice President Sean Maloney confirmed at his Computex keynote that Ivy Bridge is scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012.
Ivy Bridge itself will be an impressive bump over Sandy Bridge already with it being the first high-volume chip based on Intel’s 22 nanometer manufacturing technology that uses a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate announced in May. Maloney also highlighted complimentary USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies which are part of Intel’s ongoing work to drive the PC platform forward.