CHIPMAKER Intel has launched its second generation Core processors, weeks after retailers decided to jump the gun and offer the same chips for sale.
Details of Intel's Sandy Bridge chips had been drip fed to the press thanks to manufacturers, retailers and media outlets offering the chance to review and purchase Chipzilla's latest creation. It left Intel having little news to deliver, with the press conference serving as a parade of self promotion and backslapping.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini took the stage at CES (video) saying that Sandy Bridge represents "the best ever integration between Microsoft and Intel", with Windows 7 and the Vole's upcoming churnover of the Windows 8 operating system both having extensive support for Sandy Bridge features. As you would expect, Otellini was full of praise for Intel's great new hope, saying that the chips will bring in a third of all revenues for the firm in 2011 and $125 billion of revenue for the PC industry.
Otellini left it to the bombastic Mooly Eden, VP and general manager of Intel's PC client group to outline the three features that Chipzilla sees as the keys to success for Sandy Bridge. Intel chose to highlight the poorly named Intel Insider, Quick Sync Video and Widi to fill out its otherwise vague and fluffy presentation.
Devoid of any real technical details aside from cursory mentions of dual and quad core count and a shared Level 3 cache, Eden concentrated on the video transcoding capabilities badged up as Quick Sync Video, and general user experience.
The graphics demonstration, although it was in a controlled environment, was impressive enough and it even allowed Eden to proclaim that the Sandy Bridge GPU can outpace an Nvidia discrete graphics chip, with the outspoken Intel executive holding aloft an unspecified Nvidia board as a sign of its allegedly beaten graphics competitor.
Eden's gesture was the latest in a long line of cheap shots between the two firms. Surprisingly Nvidia didn't oblige with a comeback of its own during its presentation that immediately followed Intel's big bash.
Thanks to all the leaks, Intel was left with very little news that was really new to report at CES. Nevertheless, Intel's launch of its Sandy Bridge chips puts yet more pressure on both AMD and Nvidia. µ