A new roadmap has leaked onto the web detailing Intel's desktop processor plans for the coming year. German site Computer Base has posted the slide, but the details are in plain English. At the high end, Sandy Bridge-E will purportedly reign supreme through at least the first half of 2013. The roadmap doesn't show any additions to the LGA2011 family during that time, which means Intel probably won't be adding a version of the chip with all eight of its cores enabled. What a shame.
Most desktop users will of course be interested Ivy Bridge. The 22-nm CPU will start to become available in the second quarter of this year, and the roadmap suggests that a number of versions will roll out over the course of 2012. Those additions will all slot in below Intel's top three Ivy models, the Core i7-3770K, i7-3770, and i5-3570K. With that trio due out in the first wave and the prospect of price cuts unlikely given how things played out for Sandy Bridge, there seems to be little reason for enthusiasts to put off an Ivy Bridge upgrade for something just around the corner.
For Intel, the next big thing will be Haswell, a major architectural refresh not expected until 2013. The roadmap is a little more specific, narrowing the launch window to some time between March and June. Haswell was demoed at the Intel Developer Forum last fall, so it seems reasonable Intel could have the chip out in volume by next summer.