Intel has revealed its most ambitious CPU architecture yet in the form of Sandy Bridge at its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.
Both the GPU and the CPU are now integrated on the same die; they lived on separate dies in the processor package on Westmere just like the first dual core processors.
Doing so means better performance and power efficiency thanks to tighter integration and sharing of some common silicon; Intel says that bandwidth has improved by 400 per cent.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the chip is a "super turbo boost" feature which improves on the original TB and overclocks the chip even further, beyond its thermal limits albeit for a limited period.
The system is smart enough to know that it might need a kick from time to time to push the clock speed and prevent the system from being unresponsive for example.
Sandy Bridge is Intel's second part of its Tick-Tock strategy, the first one being Westmere, with the cycle lasting two years on average and the current manufacturing process being a 32nm high-k metal gate. Ivy Bridge will be the Tick technology coming to market in 2012 with a 22nm process.
The first Sandy Bridge products should appear next year with a dual-channel DDR3 controller onboard and possibly supporting a new LGA 1155 socket, although that has yet to be confirmed.