Details on Next-Gen ‘Sandy Bridge’ Intel CPUs Emerge
Intel’s next-generation microprocessors based on the codenamed “Sandy Bridge” platform are slated to hit notebooks and desktops in Q1 2011. Sandy Bridge processors are based on a 32nm manufacturing process and bring a number of significant changes to the table. Intel claims the Sandy Bridge processors will be 20% faster than their current Core i-series notebook processor equivalent; the physical size of the processor will also be 20% smaller. All Sandy Bridge chips are expected to be quad-cores with frequencies ranging from 2.8 – 3.4GHz; the “Turbo Boost” feature will allow individual cores to reach 3.8GHz. Entry-level Sandy Bridge processors are likely to be dual-core, however.
One notable feature of Sandy Bridge is Intel Advanced Vector Extension (AVX), which “accelerates the trends toward floating point intensive computation in general purpose applications like image, video, and audio processing, as well as engineering applications, including 3D modeling and analysis, scientific simulation, and financial analytics”. A video demonstration of AVX can be found here (YouTube).
Like current-generation Intel Core i-series processors, Sandy Bridge will support on-chip integrated graphics, a memory controller, and hyper-threading.