We are out at the Intel Developers Forum taking place in San Francisco over the next few days and just snapped a few interesting pictures of the company’s upcoming Sandy Bridge processor. What you see pictured here is a wafer of 32nm Sandy Bridge processors, the actual processor with its die exposed (sans heatspreader), and a motherboard to accommodate the chip.
We are currently at work detailing information released during the opening keynote at the show, but wanted to give you this quick glimpse of the hardware. As you can see in the images above, Sandy Bridge has a significantly smaller die than 45nm Nehalem, despite having integrated graphics. Also, the CPU and GPU reside on a single die, unlike Westmere which is sitting right next to Sandy Bridge, that utilizes a multi-chip module type package with discrete die for each component.
The motherboard on display appeared to be an upcoming enthusiast offering from Intel for Sandy Bridge, but the actual naming of the board wasn’t disclosed. In addition to the “extreme” color scheme, which Intel has been available from Intel for a while now on their enthusiast class motherboards, the mobo pictured here lacked any kind of display output. We assume this board is either an early engineering sample or it’s a board targeted at gamers who will most likely use discrete graphics. It features the upcoming 6-Series chipset for Sandry Bridge, which will have native support for SATA 6G, socket 1155, and USB 3.0 via an NEC controller. No native USB 3.0 on Intel chipsets for the immediate future.
Stay tuned to HotHardware for more coverage from IDF as the day and week progresses.