CES 2011 : Intel Guns For Nvidia With Sandy Bridge

Intel wants to eat Nvidia's lunch with Sandy Bridge, the second generation Core processor family, that's the crux of the the company's press conference here at CES 2011.

Mooly Eden, Intel's vice president and general manager, PC Client Group, extensively demoed the capabilities of Sandy Bridge's graphics module on stage after Paul Otellini announced Sandy Bridge to the crowd (for the second or third time), one where discrete graphics cards made by Nvidia and AMD are less important.

Eden said that the new chip is "visibly smart", packing new features like Intel Insider, Quick Sync video and a newer version of the company's Wireless Display or WiDi.

All of these features use Sandy Bridge's significantly increased CPU performance combined with enhanced GPU capabilities; Quick Sync, for example, will allow users to compress four minutes worth of full HD video into MP4 format in only 16 seconds.

Valve CEO, Gabe Newell, also took the stage to say that SB will be game changer allowing developers to deliver "console-like performance on a PC" even mainstream ones without a discrete video cards.

The new chips will also include new Advanced Vector Extensions, Intel's own InTru 3D and Clear Video Technology HD.

More than 20 processors have been launched, all build using a 32nm manufacturing process, together with Intel's 6 series chipsets.