updated 05:55 pm EDT, Tue April 12, 2011
Intel schedule shows Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge
An uncovered roadmap in the midst of Intel's Developer Forum in Beijing has revealed plans from Intel to speed up its current desktop processors from the Sandy Bridge platform as well as some early details of its Ivy Bridge successor. A fall update known as Sandy Bridge-E should upgrade the current platform with support for 16X PCI Express video cards, a quad-channel memory interface, and expected upgrades like increased Level 3 memory cache and more cores. WCCFTech's copy doesn't show any more than six-core processors, although the pricing would put it in the mid-range or higher for a territory occupied by quad-core chips.
Ahead of time, Intel is expected to have a Core i7 980 in the spring, likely a slight speed upgrade to the i7 970 without the unlocked processor elements of the 980X Extreme Edition. The existing Sandy Bridge lineup would get a slew of upgrades in the spring and the summer, including faster Core i3, i5, and i7 models. Most details are vague, but the Core i3 2105 would run at the same 3.1GHz as the existing model but with Intel's faster HD 3000 graphics.
The low end gets upgrades in the summer through the Pentium G440, G530, and G540, along with speed upgrades to the nettop-oriented Atom D series.
Intel's next-generation 22 nanometer shrink of the design, Ivy Bridge, is on track for early 2012 but would occupy only the mainstream and some of the performance categories rather than tackle the high end or budget fields. A desktop counterpart to Cedar Trail Atom chips, Cedar View, is due in the fall.
No mention has been made of whether Sandy Bridge-E will make it to notebooks, but Ivy Bridge is expected to reach Intel's mobile processors at roughly the same time as on the desktop.