Wednesday, April 21st 2010

Intel Sandy Bridge to Introduce New Sockets, Chipsets, Reorganize Platform Further

Intel plans a pair of new sockets for launch with its new processor architecture that succeeds Westmere, codenamed "Sandy Bridge", which are due for 2011. As part of its "tick-tock" product launch strategy, the company is currently transitioning between the 45 nm "tock" (Nehalem architecture), and 32 nm "tick" (Westmere architecture). In 2011, it will transition from the 32 nm "tick" (Westmere architecture), to the 32 nm "tock" (Sandy Bridge architecture). The company uses a "tick-tock" model of process development, where each processor architecture gets to be made in two successive manufacturing processes, while each process gets to build two succeeding architectures. It seems to have become clear that with Sandy Bridge, Intel will also switch to new socket designs, making existing motherboards obsolete then. Architecturally, Sandy Bridge will introduce new feature-sets that make the CPU more powerful, clock-to-clock, such as AVX - Advanced Vector Extensions, an evolution of the SSE instruction set, native AES engine which has been introduced with Westmere, and so on.

The present LGA-1156 package on which Intel builds value-through-performance processors including a bulk of mainstream processors, will be succeeded with the LGA-1155 package. Though similar, LGA-1155 and LGA-1156 are not inter-compatible, meaning that LGA-1155 processors will not work on existing LGA-1156 motherboards, and LGA-1156 processors will not work on LGA-1155 motherboards, either. For these processors, the arrangement of vital components is similar to the LGA-1156 package, except that every LGA-1155 processor - dual-core or quad-core - will feature an on-die display controller.

The die itself will be monolithic, where the northbridge component completely integrates with the processor component, leaving only the southbridge outside the package, on the motherboard. Currently, the "Clarkdale" and "Arrandale" dual-core processors have the processor and northbridge components on separate dies, but on the same package. LGA-1155 is also designated as socket H2 (LGA-1156 is H1), the package is identical in size to LGA-1156, but has a different pin layout and orientation notch.

Chipsets that drive the LGA-1156 platform include P67, H67, H61, and Q67, which will support features which were conceived prior to Ibex Peak platform's launch, but were shelved, such as ONFI NAND Flash "Braidwood", etc. USB 3.0 still isn't part of the feature-set, though native SATA 6 Gb/s support is on the cards.

The next big platform to succeed the LGA-1366, which caters to processors in the upper performance-though-enthusiast segments is the "Patsburg" platform, succeeding the existing "Tylersburg" based Intel X58, 5000 series chipsets. Here, Intel will introduce a massive new socket, the LGA-2011. The pin count is drastically increased for two reasons: the processor will have a 256-bit wide memory interface (quad-channel DDR3), and the northbridge component (currently X58 PCH) will be integrated completely into the processor package, upping the pin count with the PCI-Express and DMI pins. The on-die PCI-Express 2.0 root-complex will give out 32 lanes for graphics (unlike 16 lanes on the LGA-1155), and a DMI link to the so-called "Intel X68" chipset, which is relegated to being a Platform Controller Hub, just like the P55, or P67. The X68 could have a feature-set similar to the P67.Source: bit-tech.net
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119 Comments on Intel Sandy Bridge to Introduce New Sockets, Chipsets, Reorganize Platform Further

#1
ERazer
i just upgraded to 1156 and with this news it woulda prolly made me upset but with TPU b/s/t im feel just fine :D but next upgrade im definitely sticking with amd
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#2
NeSeNVi
This is what I want after my actual P4 on s.478. No doubt:)
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#4
pr0n Inspector
I'm going to build a new i5 machine before summer and yet I do not find this piece of news distressing. Strange. Might have something to do with me not interested in the dumb concept of "upgrade path".
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#5
Trigger911
by: pr0n Inspector
I'm going to build a new i5 machine before summer and yet I do not find this piece of news distressing. Strange. Might have something to do with me not interested in the dumb concept of "upgrade path".
I buy what I think will do me the best .. but amd is the way I always go being a poor guy lol but amd seems good enough for me and some day they will be pwning haha :rockout::pimp:
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: pr0n Inspector
I'm going to build a new i5 machine before summer and yet I do not find this piece of news distressing. Strange. Might have something to do with me not interested in the dumb concept of "upgrade path".
Go ahead and build it. LGA-1155 is two years away.
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#7
1c3d0g
by: PCpraiser100
Well, Intel has screwed me over again, next time I should consider going AMD no matter what. Intel you suck!
It was known for a long time (before they even came out) that S1156 was not going to be a long-term socket design. Moving/fusing the IGP into the CPU is not a trivial task, so it's to be expected that certain parameters such as pin counts can and will change. Anyways, this is technology, if you don't like it, don't upgrade. It's as simple as that. :)
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#8
DanishDevil
With their marketing strategy, it really seems like late adopters are the ones who get bit the worst. Early adopters get to use their sockets for about 2 years, but it's those who take a while longer after something comes out to buy it that end up feeling obsolete.

I agree that it was bound to happen. Once 32nm CPUs were released, they were only released on 1156, and their integrated GPUs only worked on P57 boards, which there were very few of.
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#9
jagd
No offence but you are news editor and wrote sandy bridge is 2011 , this makes socket 1156--->1155 18 months nearly (iirc sandy bridge expected at 2011 1st quarter)

by: btarunr
I don't get the socket hue and cry. LGA-1366 = Q3-2008, LGA-2011 = Q3-2011 (3 years) ; LGA-1156 = Q3-2009, LGA-1155 = 2012(?) (3 years).

A socket every 3 years is kosher.
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#10
Static~Charge
by: Phxprovost
:wtf: why is it that Intel seems to come out with more sockets then cpu's these days?
Because Intel charges royalties for the use of their socket designs. By changing them constantly, Intel gets to milk that cash cow three times: the CPU, the CPU socket, and the chipset.

Never mind that they end up pissing off their buyers, especially the enthusiasts.
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: jagd
No offence but you are news editor and wrote sandy bridge is 2011 , this makes socket 1156--->1155 18 months nearly (iirc sandy bridge expected at 2011 1st quarter)
Sandy Bridge architecture is arriving in 2011 -> Yes, with LGA-2011. LGA-1155 in 2011 -> No, never said that.
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#12
HalfAHertz
Well I understand the need for a new socket, because the move to a 256-bit memory bus (I hope we get quad pumped memory too :D ) but the 1156->1155 transition is a little retarded. Couldn't they have played around with the layout a bit and keep the old socket?
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#13
lukesky
If Intel kept the 1156 socket you would still need new chipset, just like 945, 965 to X38, P35 transition. You basically need a new chipset for every architectural change. AMD basically kept the same architecture from K8 days that's why AM2 is compatible with Am3 etc. So, essentially, Intel is just more aggressive on architectural changes.
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#14
fullinfusion
1.21 Gigawatts
Way to go Intel keep changing sockets :slap:
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#15
MikeMurphy
Why is everyone so fixated on sockets?

Besides from techies how many people actually upgrade the CPU in their computer?? I'd like to table a guess of much less than 1%.

So why would Intel not change their sockets to accommodate their latest in technology?

You should be used to it by now. Otherwise, switch to AMD.
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#16
Wile E
Power User
It's a bummer, since I am a late 1366 adopter, but honestly, how many of us enthusiasts that buy top end hardware actually end up keeping the same mobo for years and years? Even if they kept the same socket, and just released a new chipset, we were still likely to buy a new mobo with our 8 core cpu anyway.

I hate to admit it, and it leaves me feeling a little burnt, but the truth is, it doesn't really effect me that much.
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#17
mk_ln
unless i'm mistaken, wasn't sandy bridge supposed to be released in 2010?
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#18
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
I think when X68 becomes available I'll still have a lot of power in the previous 1366 platform. Whatever, let them change. Let's see how much more powerful the procs are going to be on these new sockets.
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#19
Trigger911
its got a fatter bus so it should move data faster.
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#20
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: Trigger911
its got a fatter bus so it should move data faster.
No just because it's bigger doesn't mean it's faster. Just means you can move more at any one time.
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#21
Hayder_Master
remove one pin"leg" from the CPU to made new sockets, that's sucks
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#22
LittleLizard
now that im ACTUALLY thinking. 256-bit wide memory controller means that most mainboards will need to have 8 Memory Slots. Then, the actual fact that it has 2011 pins, it means that it will be need to be way bigger than the current LGA 1366 which is already enourmous. So, the questions are: A - ATX format is getting too short on wideness
B - MATX format is too small

maybe they can sort it cause X68 is just one chip, but, its just too much.
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#23
fochkoph
by: pr0n Inspector
I'm going to build a new i5 machine before summer and yet I do not find this piece of news distressing. Strange. Might have something to do with me not interested in the dumb concept of "upgrade path".
Same here, with 1155 coming in about two years I'll probably end up upgrading about a year after that socket is introduced anyway. If the i5 750 vs i7 920 gaming performance is anything to go by for 1155 vs 2011, I have zero interest in X68 and LGA-2011. Three year upgrade paths are just about right for me. :)
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#24
eidairaman1
Intel=Nvidia 2 companies that force you to upgrade and cant stand any form of competition
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#25
dr emulator (madmax)
by: Wile E
It's a bummer, since I am a late 1366 adopter, but honestly, how many of us enthusiasts that buy top end hardware actually end up keeping the same mobo for years and years? Even if they kept the same socket, and just released a new chipset, we were still likely to buy a new mobo with our 8 core cpu anyway.

I hate to admit it, and it leaves me feeling a little burnt, but the truth is, it doesn't really effect me that much.
it shouldn't as you've got a thousand bucks processor which should (if ya don't kill it :laugh:) last for years

i'm still going to get an i7 processor and mobo sometime this year why ?
well i haven't upgraded in about 7 years :eek::wtf::shadedshu so hopefully the new i7
will last just as long as my current system has, which by then there might be a 24 core processor out
that will :nutkick: my eyes brain and wallet:laugh::D
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