Rumour: Sandy Bridge brand names revealed

According to the rolling rumour wagon, Intel plans to retain its current Core i3, i5 and i7 brands for its forthcoming Sandy Bridge CPUs, but will introduce a new model number scheme to signify the new architecture.

The tech blabbermouths over at VR-Zone report that although the same brands will be used, the model names will be appended by a 2000-series model number. So, for example, the Sandy Bridge equivalent of a Core i7 920 might be called the Core i7 2920.

Previous reports show that Sandy Bridge CPUs will have either one of two sockets. The large LGA2011 socket will be reserved for high-end chips, while the smaller LGA1155 socket will accommodate mainstream Core i3, i5 and i7 chips.

Although only one pin theoretically separates LGA1155 from the current LGA1156 socket, LGA1155 sockets will not be backwardly compatible with the older CPUs, as the notches in the socket are in different places. A few LGA1155 motherboards have already been shown off this year, including a couple that MSI showed THINQ during Computex last month.

Unlike current Lynnfield and Clarkdale CPUs, the integrated graphics component of LGA1155 chips will apparently also feature 32nm transistors and will be integrated into the same die as the processor.

Although none of this has been confirmed by Intel yet, the first LGA1155 CPUs are expected to start doing the rounds at the beginning of 2011, with LGA2011 processors following a few months later.