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Old Apr 21, 2010, 07:31 AM   #1
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Intel Intel Sandy Bridge: Details of the Next Generation

New chipsets and sockets for the new year.

We've got details in front of us of Intel's next generation platforms due in 2011, along with its 'Sandy Bridge' CPUs. A third party gave us this information - Intel won't comment on unreleased products.

Sandy Bridge CPUs will be based on the current 32nm, second generation High-k metal gate manufacturing process, but will include new architectural features such as AVX - Advanced Vector Extensions - and AES - Advanced Encryption Standard - acceleration and will arrive in Q1 next year, with possibly very limited products popping up late Q4, although depending on who we talk to the story changes.

They will be split into two markets: mainstream and enthusiast. The mainstream models will replace the current LGA1156 'H1' Clarkdale and Lynnfield CPUs (Core i3 and Core i5) and will use LGA1155 'H2' packaging.

Yes, that's right, LGA1155 - one fewer pins than current LGA1156 CPUs. These sockets are NOT compatible, so you cannot use an existing LGA1156 CPU in a new motherboard or visa versa. Not only is the position of pin-1 different, the socket notch has moved from 9mm to 11.5mm from the centre and the entire voltage plane layout has changed.

Mainstream Sandy Bridge CPUs will be both native dual- and quad-core products, currently targeting TDPs of 65W and 95W respectively, both with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technology. At the moment it's not clear what frequency these CPUs will be though (likely because none are available yet from Intel).

Next is Sandy Bridge 'E' (Enthusiast or Extreme, take your pick) 'Patsburg' platform, which features a huge new LGA2011 socket to replace LGA1366 in Q3 next year (although right now that seems dubiously convenient given the year of launch). The larger socket is to accommodate the new four channel DDR3 memory controller this platform will offer, as well as the first outing for PCI Express 3 - of which we'll get 32 lanes bolted into the CPU itself. The lanes can be split between 2x16 and 4x8 for multi-GPU, but again, there's no details about CrossFire or SLI support at this early stage.

Like LGA1156/1155 motherboards, LGA2011 motherboards will have only a Southbridge, but whether this Southbridge is called 'X68' (as some Taiwanese manufacturers are saying), we don't yet know. The new Southbridge seems like a complete update with a real focus on the single-socket workstation and server market as it houses two SATA 3Gbps and ten SATA/SAS 6Gbps ports. The interconnect is still a 4x PCI-E 2.0 DMI link between this and the CPU, providing some 2Gbit/s of bandwidth.

Source: bit-tech
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