In the usual fashion, JCornell over at XtremeSystems has posted a teaser image about Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge processors. In this case, the teaser comes in the form of socket shots of the 2011 pin 32nm Sandy Bridge chips. Looking at the pictures below we notice a few things…
First of all, these sockets are almost perfectly square which indicates a larger socket due to the increase from 1366 to 2011 pins. In addition to that, the socket now requires not one, but two retention latches to hold down the processor. This is a relatively unheard of thing simply because both AMD and Intel have both sufficed in the past with just one retention latch. The added latches and pins may cause issues for motherboard manufacturers in the future considering the fact that the likelihood of an inexperienced customer forgetting to use both latches or having a larger socket to possibly damage.
The reason for the increase in pins from 1366 to 2011 is fairly understandable considering the additional things that Intel has included over 1366. With the 1366 socket, there was only a triple channel memory bus, but with Sandy Bridge it will be quad channel meaning 4 sticks per channel. In addition to that, the 1366 socket did not have integrated graphics included while the 2011 socket will. Adding integrated graphics also requires quite a few more pins. And as if that wasn’t already enough Intel has also decided to follow the path of all their recent mainstream chipsets and to integrate the PCI-Express bus into the socket as well. Intel is continually increasing their consolidation of silicon into one socket which explains the increases in size and pins.
Just looking at these pictures gives a small indication of the behemoth that Sandy Bridge is expected to be. With the improved memory bandwidth and lowered manufacturing process, we can only expect Intel to give AMD a good run for their money once they launch Bulldozer.
Original Author: Anshel Sag
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