Intel reaffirms Sandy Bridge for early 2011

The chipmaker may have already let a lot of information slip through the net about its next release, but it has used IDF to set in stone some of the key aspects and the company's vision for the future.

New processor

Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture is set to "revolutionise the PC again," according to the company's chief executive (CEO).

During the opening keynote of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, spoke of a future filled with multiple mobile devices and a challenge to ensure interoperability and performance for them all.

"A seamless experience for devices is becoming more and more urgent and we as an industry haven't solved this yet," he said.

However, Otellini claimed his company was making the right steps with a move towards becoming a solutions providers, rather than just a provider of silicon.

"We want to provide consistency [and] in order to deliver on this... we are changing as a company," he said. "We are becoming a solutions provider. You will see us deliver and develop more complete hardware and software solutions than we ever have in the past and [develop] our services."

It didn't take long for the company's executives to return to its comfort zone, however, as David Perlmutter, executive vice president of the Intel Architecture Group, took to the stage and spoke passionately about Sandy Bridge.

"This is a unique one," he said. "With this one, we are very much putting together all that is required, the whole system of a PC on one processor."

The key aspect of Sandy Bridge that Perlmutter focused on was the improvements to its turbo boost technology. Previously it had allowed one core of a chip to break through the clock speed whilst other cores were not in use. However, a thermal limit meant this was only possible with one core at a time and the overclock was limited.

"Sandy Bridge uses more capabilities and goes beyond the limit," he said, with the new architecture breaking the thermal boundaries and enabling more than one core to overclock simultaneously.

The desktop processors in the range will ship "in very high volumes," according to Otellini, from early 2011. Server versions of the chips are on the cards but won't come until later in the year.

Work is already well underway on Intel's next project, code-named Ivy Bridge, which will cut the current 32nm chip size down to 22nm. Details were sparse, but Otellini revealed this would be due in the latter half of 2011.

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