Intel unveils Sandy Bridge architecture

Second generation Intel Core processors will combine microprocessor and graphics processor on single chip

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Intel unveils Sandy Bridge architecture The new processors will give a better performance for graphics processing and other tasks, says Perlmutter.
By  Mark Sutton Published  September 14, 2010

Intel will combine graphics processors and microprocessors on a single chip, with its new ‘Sandy Bridge' architecture.

The second generation of Intel Core processors, which were unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum, will offer better chip performance and battery life, and include other features related to graphics processing on the chip.

The Sandy Bridge microprocessor architecture will be built on 32nm wafers, with second- generation high-k metal gate transistors. The processor family will also include a new ‘ring' architecture, which will allow the graphics processor to share resources such as cache with the processor core, to improve performance, and an enhanced version of Intel Turbo Boost Technology which automatically shifts or reallocates processor cores and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance.

Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group commented: "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. Our upcoming second Generation Intel Core processor family represents the biggest advance in computing performance and capabilities over any previous generation. In addition to offering these features inside Intel-based laptops, we plan to scale these advances across our server data centre and embedded computing product portfolio."

Intel expects to start production of the new architecture by the end of this year, with lap tops and PCs with the technology on sale in early 2011.

The 2011 chips also come with Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX). AVX delivers improved performance, rich functionality and the ability to better manage, rearrange and sort data. A new 256-bit instruction set accelerates floating point intensive applications such as digital photo editing and content creation.

Intel also demonstrated a dual processor, next-generation Intel Xeon processor server running Vidyo video conferencing software that utilizes the 32 threads available on the system, and takes advantage of the AES New Instructions set (AESNI). Next-generation Xeon processors for 2 socket servers and workstations run 8 cores and 16 threads per processor and are on schedule for production in the second half of 2011.

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