Information regarding Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge platforms (due in 2011) have been coming to light over the past week or so, but today bit-tech has some details (via a third party, not directly from Intel) on how we can expect expect the new chips to be packaged and what they and their accompanying chipsets will feature.
According information that has been released so far, we can expect Intel to split its new platforms into two markets, those being Enthusiast and Mainstream. The Enthusiast Sandy Bridge E or 'Patsburg' platform is set to replace current LGA1366 CPUs and the X58 chipset, with the new CPUs coming in a LGA2011 package. The extra size is to allow for a four channel DDR3 memory controller, along with PCI Express 3 support. Quad-core and six-core chips are expected, with the possibility of eight-core models as well. The new chipset (possibly dubbed 'X68') that accompanies the LGA2011 socket will feature two SATA 3Gbps ports along with an impressive ten SATA/SAS 6Gbps ports.
The Mainstream platform will come in with an LGA1155 socket CPU, with the 32nm fabricated parts squeezing the integrated graphics core into a single die, rather than simply pairing it with the CPU in the same package as current LGA1156 processors do. Note that LGA1156 and LGA1155 sockets are not compatible, so there will be no switching chips between the two (yep, you're going to need a whole new motherboard again). We can expect both dual-core and quad-core chips with TDP figures of 65W and 95W. Chipsets that make up the platform will be the P67, H67, H61, Q67 and Q65 (the Q-models being aimed at the corporate sector). Expect a couple of SATA 6Gbps ports (though not on the H61) and the P67 chipset to take up the position that the P55 currently occupies as the 'performance' option in the family.
All in all Sandy Bridge is looking to be a good step forward from the current platforms, with all the chips moving to a second generation 32nm process and incorporating new features such as Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX). We'll see just how much we can expect when more details are released (such as clockspeeds). It may irk some that Intel is imposing another socket change on consumers so soon though.