Intel’s development follows their "tick-tock" strategy; that is, one swing represents a new architecture, and the next focuses on process improvements. This development cycle is about 2 years each, so here we are in 2011 with the new architecture: Sandy Bridge. And it’s proven to be quite a performance behemoth.
Sandy Bridge has obviously brought a new socket 1155. This new 32nm architecture brings the P67 chipset for the performance products, and an H67 chips for integrated graphics.
A block diagram is a quick and clean way of showing the P67 features.
As to the architecture itself, Sandy Bridge is an evolution of what was started in Bloomfield with an integrated memory controller, continued with Lynnfield in the form of a PCI Express bus controller, then Clarkdale brought an integrated graphics core. Sandy Bridge takes these to a new level of refinement by bringing them all under one roof now onto one chip. CPU cores, integrated memory controller, PCI Express bus controller, and finally graphics cores are now together. One ring to rule them all, as it were.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite, by know you know about the P67 chipset flaw, which Intel has since been correcting. As a result, B3 revision boards are now shipping to consumers through retail channels and OEM partners, so it appears things are back on track.