Intel Moving to ‘Sandy Bridge’ Microarchitecture in Q4 2010

Submitted by lalit on August 12, 2009 - 1:59pm.

Intel will be shipping 32nm process technology based chips this year, but the company plans to move to new ‘Sandy Bridge’ microarchitecture, which will succeed Nehalem in Q4 2010. Intel will start volume production of 32nm based chips codenamed Westmere in Q4 2009, and plans to introduce Clarkdale for desktops and Arrandale for notebooks in first quarter of 2010. According to DigiTimes, Intel plans to let 45nm CPUs co-exist with 32nm Westmere CPUs before Sandy Bride microarchitecture is adopted.

Intel has developed a “tick-tock model”, and has successfully alternated and delivered the next generation of silicon technology as well as new processor microarchitecture year after year. The “Tick” signifies new silicon process technology like 65nm in 2005, 45nm in 2007 and upcoming 32nm in 2009. Whereas, the “Tock” signifies new processor microarchitecture like Core in 2006, Nehalem in 2008 and Sandy Bridge in 2010. With every tick-tock cycle Intel improves performance, adds new capabilities and makes CPUs more energy efficient.

By shifting to 32nm process technology this year and then adopting Sandy Bridge microarchitecture next year Intel would double processor performance while bring down power requirements and size of the processor. It will be interesting to see what new capabilities Intel will bring to the table with Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.