Intel Unleashes 2011 Sandy Bridge Processor Family

Intel on Monday unleashed its Sandy Bridge lineup for 2011. The second-generation Core processors include 29 new chips for use in mobile and desktop computers, detailed in Intel’s charts at the end of this article. Compared to the previous-generation Core i3, i5 and i7, the Intel Core 2011 family chips utilize Intel’s 32nm microarchitecture marketed under the Sandy Bridge moniker which is considered a Nehalem successor.

Highlights include new integrated graphics options, speedier graphics, lower power consumption, improved Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading, dynamic clocking, and more. In addition, the chips come in smaller packages because the new architecture combines the CPU, GPU, and memory controller on a single die.

The new HD 2000 and HD 3000 processor graphics is said to give a twofold performance increase over Capella-based systems. Interestingly, Intel catered to overclockers as well with the ‘K’ series of chips supported on the premium P67 Express motherboard that lets enthusiasts set the clockspeed ratios for each individual core.

Here’s a quick run-down of the new features:

  • Improved Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading gives quad-core mobile CPU cores up to 60 percent performance boost
  • Lower power consumption stems from the fact that CPU, GPU and memory controller reside on a single die. The chips can also turn off an idle optical drive to save power.
  • Dynamic clocking of the CPU cores and graphics independently – with a shared 1MB cache lets the chips better allocate resources and match your workload
  • Intel Quick Sync Video hardware-accelerated video conversion technology is said to deliver 17x faster video transcoding of H.264 and MPEG-2 content
  • WiDi 2.0, the latest wireless digital network interface for wireless high-definition signal transmission for consumer electronics products, now supports wireless video streaming in 1080p via the new chips
  • Improved InTru 3D and Clear Video HD technologies now enable the new chips to play stereoscopic 3D and HD content on TVs via HDMI, in addition to 3D Blu-ray content over HDMI 1.4

Although Intel provided no details regarding availability, the new quad-core i7 chips are thought to be available next week, with their dual-core counterparts available from February. The semiconductor giant said the ultra-low voltage versions is heading to ultraportable notebooks in the second half of the year.

If you’re eager to learn more about the Intel Core 2011 family, check out first reviews published by The Tech Report, AnandTech and Bit-tech. Also, make sure to check out our Sandy Bridge review, due later today.