The main significance for this is that we can get more powerful laptops and PCs at a lower price.
Sandy Bridge officially lands here
In terms of architecture, these second-generation Core processors are a major departure from the last generation of processors, as it integrates both the CPU (central processing unit) with the GPU (graphics processing unit) onto a single piece of silicon.
By integrating the two onto a single die, the performance is greatly improved compared to using a CPU with a similarly-specified but separate GPU located on the PC's motherboard.
The second-generation Core processors will still follow the current naming convention, i.e. Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, but with a new logo to differentiate the new versions from their predecessors.
According to Prakash Mallya, Intel Malaysia country manager of sales and marketing, the company calls the new second-generation Core processors "Visibly Smart" in reference to how noticeably fast the chips process high-resolution digital photos, encode/decode videos and handle 3D (stereoscopic) video playback.
Prakash amusingly opened his speech by stating, amongst other things, that he would not mention Moore's Law (a mantra often repeated in speeches from Intel executives) in his presentation.
The international launch of Sandy Bridge has not been as smooth as Intel would have hoped for - at the end of January, the company announced that it had discovered a design flaw in the SATA controllers for the motherboard chipsets of the Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge-based processors.
In response, Intel offered its OEM partners workarounds to the problem, as well as returns, modifications or replacements as needed on motherboards or systems.
The company has since fixed the flaw in new chipsets that were shipped starting from the end of February.