As rumoured previously, Intel is set to reprise the Nehalem generation’s Core i3/i5/i7 branding. Of course, a minor revision would be required over the Core 2010 series, and this will be provided by adding a fourth number to the suffix – 2. Hence, a Core i7 960, for example, would read Core i7 2960. Sandy Bridge will first release in early Q1 2011, as dual core or quad core CPUs, with an improved Intel IGP on the same die. These will be the Socket H2 LGA 1155 parts. The enthusiast level 6-core or 8-core CPUs will follow later in 2011, fitting into Socket R, or LGA 2011.

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As rumoured previously,
Intel is set to reprise the Nehalem generation’s Core i3/i5/i7
branding. Of course, a minor revision would be required over the Core
2010 series, and this will be provided by adding a fourth number to the
suffix – 2. Hence, a Core i7 960, for example, would read Core i7 2960.
Sandy Bridge will first release in early Q1 2011, as dual core or quad
core CPUs, with an improved Intel IGP on the same die. These will be the
Socket H2 LGA 1155 parts. The enthusiast level 6-core or 8-core CPUs
will follow later in 2011, fitting into Socket R, or LGA 2011.

In essence, it will be similar to the current generation, except, the whole range of CPUs will release in quick succession – unlike Nehalem, which had a gap of more than 18 months between the first quad core and the final dual core and six core CPUs released as the Westmere shrink.

The current nomenclature has its detractors – with Core i5 branding overlapping between dual core Clarkdale and quad core Lynnfields. In fact, Clarkdale and Lynnfield are available as both Core i3 / Core i5 and Core i5 / Core i7 respectively, separated purely by unpopular software based disables (i.e. lack of HyperThreading or lack of Turbo). Not surprisingly, these overlaps caused a lot of confusion. We hope Intel opts for a more logical branding for Sandy Bridge. For example, Core i3 for dual cores, Core i5 for quad cores, Core i7 for six cores, and so on.

The brand “Pentium”, amazingly, continues to be Intel’s most popular brand, with the entry level CPUs selling in massive quantities in the high volume developing markets such as South Asia. It is likely that Intel will continue to offer a crippled dual-core Sandy Bridge with the Pentium name for under $100.

The final details are expected to be revealed before Q4 2010.

Reference: Expreview