We were told last month that Intel’s next-gen Sandy Bridge processors will have Core in model names, much like today’s Core i3, i5, and i7 offerings. Expreview now claims to have more information about the subject; it says Intel will indeed keep the model names but add an extra digit to the model numbers.
More simply put, Expreview claims Sandy Bridge chips will be part of the Core i3-2000, Core i5-2000, and Core i7-2000 series. A hypothetical model number might be, say, Core i7-2870. Word is that the leading "2" will definitely be in the mix.
Although this rumor fits with what we were told about Core in model numbers, we’d still suggest taking it with a grain of salt—you know, since even Expreview says it doesn’t have confirmation yet. We’ll probably learn more concrete details as Sandy Bridge draws closer to release. Last we heard (also at Computex, funnily enough), Intel should have its next generation of CPUs ready for early January 2011, in time for the Consumer Electronics show.
Let’s just hope Intel does a better job of partitioning the i3, i5, and i7 series this time. The current distribution is kind of a mess, with the Core i5 family comprised of both dual- and quad-core chips, and the i7 family straddling four and six cores. Abstracting processor features to keep things simpler for consumers has its advantages, sure, but core counts tend to have a pretty strong impact on CPU performance.