Like most new product roll-outs these days, Intel's launch of its new CPUs, code-named Sandy Bridge, won't be a complete surprise, thanks to a number of Web sites publishing information that's leaked out about the chips.
Here's what we've heard so far from the leaks, none of which Intel will comment on. There will be a total of 19 new Sandy Bridge processors (table here) -- 13 for desktops and the remainder for laptops -- that are all dual-core or quad-core. The new desktop Core i7 chips will top out at 3.8GHz in Turbo Mode with the 2600 series. Yes, Intel is tweaking its naming conventions again, though the difference is minor -- adding a fourth digit to the part number. Performance laptop fans will cheer the new quad-core Core i7-2920XM, which hits 3.5GHz in Turbo Mode and comes with 8MB of L3 cache.
Sandy Bridge chips will feature special circuits that are exclusively designed to handle transcoding -- the process of converting data from one format to another, and crucial for handling multimedia content. This functionality is not part of the GPU that will now be integrated onto the same silicon as the CPU.
Finally, Fudzilla claims that there's a Sandy Bridge processor that wasn't in the above list that's a dual-core 2.8GHz CPU and may be released under the venerable Pentium name. It would cost just $78. It would apparently replace the Pentium E5000 series and be released in the second quarter of 2011.
We're still awaiting official word from Intel that will give the precise roadmap, but this information suggests that 2011 will be a busy one for new processors thanks to the Sandy Bridge introduction.