Stephen L. Smith, vice president and director of PC Client operations and enabling at Intel was recorded on an audio stream giving some further details of the upcoming platform. In response to a question, he said:
"The other cool thing is dedicated circuitry for media acceleration. All of us in our daily use, whether it's home videos or photos tend to pull things from the Internet, pull things from our own capture devices at home, bring them on to our PC, transform them into different formats...all of that will be dramatically faster if one utilizes this hardware acceleration, media acceleration that we have on Sandy Bridge."
Sandy Bridge will support DirectX 10.1 and OpenCL 1.1. This may not mean a lot to gamers and enthusiasts, but it should considerably improve low-mid powered machines in which these new CPUs are employed.
Notebooks will also benefit from this technology:
"It enables us to build a notebook with a sleeker form factor and potentially longer battery life and still get great mainstream performance"
The amalgamation of CPU and GPU (into APU) is what is being referred to here. Less components, more flexibility with size. Efficiency is improved with 32nm technology also.
There was also a snippet of information on the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, which are expected before the end of 2011:
"Ivy Bridge is a shrink of Sandy Bridge with some enhancements"
What these may be is not totally clear, but Ivy Bridge is so far known to be a die shrink of Sandy bridge, moving from 32nm to 22nm. This usually yields improvements in performance and efficiency but perhaps Intel has something else in mind too.
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Source: CNET News