Strong demand prompts acceleration of Sandy Bridge schedule

In addition to reporting its best quarterly financial results of all time yesterday, Intel also hinted that Sandy Bridge CPUs could arrive earlier than expected. During the conference call that announced the company's financial results, CEO Paul Otellini let slip the following tasty tidbit: "Due to the very strong reception of Sandy Bridge, we have accelerated our 32-nanometer factory ramp and have raised our capex guidance to enable us to meet the anticipated demand." Otellini stopped short of revealing exactly when Sandy Bridge would become available to the general public, but he did say that revenue shipments of the new CPUs would begin this year.

Intel had originally intended to dedicate $4.8 billion to capital expenditures this year, but that figure has since been raised to $5.2 billion. The additional $400 million is small change for the chip giant, though. In just the second quarter of this year, Intel reaped $2.9 billion in profits from revenues of $10.8 billion.

Sandy Bridge represents the latest "tick" in the Intel's tick-tock processor development cycle. New microarchitectures are introduced with each tock in the cycle, while each tick delivers new process technology.

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