Intel lifts lid on 'Sandy Bridge' - PC Retail

Intel lifts lid on 'Sandy Bridge'

"Visibly smart" next gen processor to arrive early 2011
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Intel bosses Paul Otellini and Dadi Permutter took the stage to formerly announce the chipmaker's next generation of processor architecture at IDF 2010.

Expected to arrive in new laptops and PCs in early 2011, Intel called the new 'Sandy Bridge' second generation Core processor architecture "visibily smart computing solutions." The new chips will be fabricated on the brand new 32nm processor and integrate the CPU with graphics processor and memory controller.

"The way people and businesses are using computers is evolving at an explosive rate, fueling demand for an even more powerful and visually appealing experience," said Intel architecture group boss Dadi Perlmutter. "Our upcoming 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family represents the biggest advance in computing performance and capabilities over any previous generation.

The processor family will include a new "ring" architecture that allows the built-in processor graphics engine to share resources such as cache, or a memory reservoir, with the processor's core to increase a device's computing and graphics performance while maintaining energy efficiency.

Also featured is an enhanced version of the firm's "turbo boost" technology which automatically reallocates processor cores and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance. At IDF 2010 Permutter explained that the new core considers the integrated graphics part when deciding to overclock multiple cores including the graphics core.

Also described were new architectural improvements within processor such as a new "ring interconnect" bus system which boosted bandwidth and reduced latency between the components with the processor. A new 256-bit instruction set called Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) will also be introduced with Sandy Bridge, aimed at accelerating multimedia performance.

Intel also made much of the power reductions incorporated into Sandy Bridge where the firm will be going up against solutions such as AMD's Fusion platform also launching in 2011 and incorporating a graphics processor onto the same die.

The "visibly smart" slogan appears to recognise the importance of graphics performance, an area where Intel integrated solutions have often lagged behind third those from rivals Nvidia and Intel.

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