Intel is planning to introduce its 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture in Q1 2011. The initial chips will not target the high-end market. The less complex models will arrive first, while higher-end models with six- and eight-cores are expected to follow later.
Sandy Bridge is the codename for a processor microarchitecture that is being developed by Intel and is the planned successor to Nehalem.The initial processors based on the new micro-architecture will not aim at the high-end market, but will still not be compatible with current mainstream infrastructure and will require new sockets and chipsets.
The first Intel Sandy Bridge chips will feature two or four cores with Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technology as well as integrated graphics processor that will actually be on the same die as the x86 cores, according to previous reports. The chips will address mainstream market segments currently served by Intel Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 processors, hence, there will be a lot of different models with 65W (dual-core, quad-core)or 95W (quad-core) thermal design power. The new processors will use LGA1155 form-factor and will be compatible with platforms based on the Intel 6-series chipsets code-named Cougar Point. It is noteworthy that while the new 6-series mainstream chipsets support Serial ATA-600 and some other innovations, the USB 3.0 does not seem to be a capability of the core-logic [via xbitlabs].