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Intel promises Sandy Bridge later this year

At Intel's China IDF in Beijing, co-general manager of Intel's architecture group, David Perlmutter, said that Intel's successor to Nehalem, Sandy Bridge will appear in late 2010.

Sandy Bridge is a new chip design, built for the 32nm platform. The first versions of the chip will be for desktop and laptop computers. Servers come later.

The architecture incorporates Intel's AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) instructions designed to improve SSE4 performance and Intel's AES encryption/decryption instructions. Its graphics core will also be enhanced, Intel said.

The firm reckons the chips will boost laptop performance by around 20 per cent over today's silicon in a package 20 per cent smaller in size.

Sandy Bridge is expected to be the first architecture to shrink to 22nm when Intel's newest fabs come online in the second half of next year.