|According to Intel's carefully laid out roadmap we are between the tick and the tock of the 45nm era, with Penryn being released and Nehalem coming in a matter of months. Following this stage comes a new tick-tock cycle with the 32nm Westmere and Sandy Bridge.
Sandy Bridge is expected in 2010 but that didn't stop Intel from already hyping it up by talking about Advanced Vector Extensions. AVX is the new instruction set which will make its debut in with Sandy Bridge and will increase performance in floating point, media, and processor intensive software.
AVX is also said to increase energy efficiency, and will be backwards compatible to existing Intel processors. Its key features include wider vectors, increasing from 128 bit to 256 bit wide, resulting in up to 2x peak FLOPs output, enhanced data rearrangement and more. Intel is set to make the detailed specification of AVX public in early April at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.