New Intel “Sandy Bridge” Mobile Processors Now Official

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New Intel “Sandy Bridge” Mobile Processors Now Official

Intel has officially announced its second-generation of Core-series processors, otherwise known as “Sandy Bridge”.

The second-gen Core i3, i5, and i7 processors bring a number of practical improvements to the table vs. the first gen. In addition to the expected improved performance and power efficiency, Intel has added several new features including:

  • Intel Quick Sync Video: hardware video decoding is up to 17x faster than the first-gen Intel HD graphics
  • Intel InTru 3D: enables stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray playback over HDMI 1.4
  • Intel Clear Video HD: improved video playback quality
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi 2.0): connect your PC to a TV wirelessly in full 1080p; first-gen WiDi only did 720p

The first-gen Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors featured Hyper-Threading, and in the case of the i5 and i7, Turbo Boost. In short, Hyper-Threading split up each processor core into two virtual cores, improving multi-tasking capabilities, and Turbo Boost allowed the processor to “boost” its frequency above what it was rated for to improve performance; both of these technologies are improved in the second-gen processors. Intel says the new Core i7 quad-core is up to 60% faster and the overall performance gain is around 30%.

Additionally, Intel has improved the performance of its integrated Intel HD graphics; the new iteration, Intel HD Graphics 3000, is up to twice as fast and supports Microsoft DirectX 10.1.

New Processors

Click on the images above for details and technical specifications of the newly-announced processors; 15 mobile processors have been announced in total. The Core i7 processor is the high-end performance CPU, available in quad- and dual-core versions; the i5 is the mid-range dual-core processor, and the i3 is the value-based dual-core.

The company is using a new naming convention with the second-gen processors, adding a “2” prefix to the processor numbers to indicate second-gen. For example, a first-gen Core i5 processor might have been “i5-540M”, the second generation is “i5-2540M”. An “M” after the processor number indicates it is a mobile processor, and a “QM” indicates it is a Quad-core Mobile processor.

The quad-core i7 processors will be available initially; the i5 and i3 dual-cores will follow later towards the spring.
Expect to see droves of new notebooks announced featuring the new second-gen Core series processors at CES 2011 – according to Intel, that number is over 500. We will be at CES 2011 providing full coverage on all things new, so stay tuned for coverage!

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