Sandy Bridge is arguably Intel's most important future technology. So, what is it exactly?
Intel has been careful to reveal only snippets about the technology over the last 12 months or so. But enough is out there now to understand how the technology moves Intel forward.
In a nutshell, Sandy Bridge is Intel's next microarchitecture, or redesign, of its processors. A chip revamp is the single biggest undertaking for Intel. And it happens every two years. The current design, Nehalem, was introduced in November of 2008 and it pervades all Core i3, i5, and i7 processors (the latter two finally made it into Apple laptops on Tuesday). Its successor, Sandy Bridge, is scheduled to go into production in the fourth quarter.
Intel isn't being coy about where Sandy Bridge will play a big role: laptops--which will be more power-efficient while crunching video and audio data faster than the newest Core i7-based laptops today.
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