Intel to ship dual-core Sandy Bridge chips on Feb. 20

Intel will start shipping its dual-core Core i5 and i7 microprocessors based on the Sandy Bridge architecture for laptops starting on Feb. 20.

The new microprocessors will draw between 17 watts and 35 watts of power and run at speeds between 1.4GHz and 2.7GHz, according to the chip maker's website. The Sandy Bridge microprocessors, launched in early January, integrate a CPU and graphics processor in a single chip.

The first Sandy Bridge processors to ship were quad-core chips, mainly for high-end laptops. The dual-core chips will likely go into end-user and ultraportable laptops, many of which were shown at last month's Consumer Electronics Show. Fujitsu said it plans to use dual-core Core i7 chips in its high-end ultraportable laptops.

An Intel spokesman, David Salvator, did not provide further details about chip shipments.

"What I can say for now is stay tuned," Salvator said in an e-mail.

The chip maker has said that Sandy Bridge microprocessors are more power-efficient than their predecessors, and offer faster application and graphics performance. The chips include specialized hardware accelerators to quickly encode and decode video.

The company will ship five Core i7 microprocessors and four Core i5 processors. The fastest Core i7 chip is Core i7-2620M, which includes 4MB of cache and runs at a clock speed of 2.7GHz, but can be cranked to 3.4GHz under certain conditions.

The fastest Core i5 is the Core i5-2540M processor, which runs at a clock speed of 2.6GHz and can draw up to 35 watts of power. It will include 3MB of cache.

Pricing for the chips was not available on the website.

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