Intel sent out an invitation confirming that it would launch its Sandy Bridge processors at its CES keynote on January 5. PC Client Group general manager Mooly Eden will show the chips, now badged "second generation Intel Core processors." One of these will be the "world's fastest processor," the invite said.
The company didn't provide details, but the architecture will include optimizations, new AVX media instructions and focus heavily on a new integrated graphics core merged directly into the chip die. Pre-release benchmarks have put its performance higher than dedicated (low end) graphics for the first time and may help slow down competition from AMD and NVIDIA. OpenCL has been rumored and could be important to any future Apple adoption, but it hasn't been confirmed.
Desktop chips will range from dual 2.5GHz Core i3s to quad 3.4GHz Core i7s. Regular notebooks will get dual 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz Core i5 and i7 chips in the first batch of processors, and desktop replacements will get quad 2.2GHz through to 2.5GHz Core i7s. Low voltage editions have been leaked but may not necessarily arrive at the same time.
Intel has already promised a handful of other technologies in early 2011 that could be ready, including the Oak Trail platform for the tablet-bound Atom Z600, Light Peak interconnects, MeeGo devices and early prototypes of future designs like Chief River and Ivy Bridge.
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