Intel has officially released its second-generation Core processor line, which includes a number of technologies that reflect the chipmaker's belief that video is the future of consumer computing.
Intel launched the latest Core i3, i5, and i7 processors Monday in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., which opens on Thursday. Formerly code-named Sandy Bridge, the new Core chips include a number of video-related technologies, such as Intel Insider, Quick Sync Video, and a new version of Wireless Display.
Intel made the announcement in a press release set for Wednesday, but obtained by news organizations a couple of days early. The Engadget tech blogposted the release.
Intel is initially launching 20 new Sandy Bridge processors, along with 6 Series chipsets and Centrino Wi-Fi and WiMax wireless adapters. The processors will each have four CPU cores and will be integrated with a graphics processor on the same die. The new products, built with a 32-nanometer manufacturing process, are scheduled to be available next week. Intel plans to release dual-core models in February. Computer makers are expected to release throughout the year more than 500 laptop and desktop models using the new Core processors.
Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices is expected it release its new combo graphics-CPU processors at CES this week. AMD calls its new products accelerated processing units, or APUs. The designs are new for both chipmakers and open up a new front in their long rivalry.
Combining graphics and CPU on a single die produces significantly better graphics performance than having a separate graphics chip embedded in the motherboard, the typical design in the past. The new design makes possible smaller and more powerful mainstream laptops or desktops used for high-definition video playback and light video editing. A separate graphics card is still needed for handling intensive graphic applications, such as high-end video games or professional video editing.
Intel's new Wireless Display 2.0 in Sandy Bridge makes it possible for hardware manufacturers to tap the chipmaker's technology in products that can wirelessly stream 1080p high-definition video to digital TVs. The company's Quick Sync Video is built-in hardware acceleration technology for faster editing and sharing of video. Intel Insider provides movie studios with hardware-based content protection that can be used in streaming or downloading video from the Web. CinemaNow, Warner Bros., and other content distributors say they will use the technology.