Intel CEO: Strong demand for 'Sandy Bridge' chip

Intel's earnings conference was sprinkled with chatter about the future "Sandy Bridge" chip.

In the Intel earnings conference call Tuesday afternoon, CEO Paul Otellini said the company is getting ready to move quickly to its next-generation chip design, "Sandy Bridge."

Intel reported strong second-quarter earnings Tuesday on the back of corporate demand and high gross margins.

Otellini said in his opening remarks during the earnings conference call that Intel is expediting its factory "ramp" for Sandy Bridge.

"Due to the very strong reception of Sandy Bridge, we have accelerated our 32-nanometer factory ramp and have raised our capex (capital expenditure) guidance to enable us to meet the anticipated demand," he said. Intel is now transitioning to a more advanced 32-nanometer production process from the current 45-nanometer technology.

Otellini reiterated that Intel has been sending sample shipments of the chip to its customers, adding, "I am more excited about Sandy Bridge than I have been about any product that the company has launched in a number of years."

Though he would not reveal any details about Sandy Bridge, Intel's executive vice president David Perlmutter did discuss the chip at an Intel conference in Beijing in April.

Intel's future Sandy Bridge chip: key features.
Intel's future Sandy Bridge chip: key features. Intel

Sandy Bridge's key technologies include a central processing unit, or CPU, that delivers a "significant improvement in instructions per clock," according to Perlmutter's remarks in April, meaning that it is more efficient at executing tasks. It also has what Perlmutter called "improved inter-buses" for faster on-chip communication and uses new instructions: Sandy Bridge will be the first chip to support Intel's Advanced Vector Extension (Intel AVX) instructions. AVX accelerates multimedia tasks, including video and audio processing.

And like all Intel chips going forward, the graphics processing unit, or GPU, will be integrated directly onto the CPU.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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