(most of this is based on fact some is speculation)
Next release from Intel (late 4th quarter) is socket 2011 on platsburg X79 chipset.
these processors are 32nm Sandy bridge.
there will be no architectural changes from present sandy bridge.
expect 4/6 core with more cache and possible higher GHz.
Quad channel ram will be on both single desktop and single/Dual Xeon
Dual Xeon chipset is also based on C600 platsburg dual QPI
so aside from the added PCIe lanes this is not that big a deal unless we get higher GHz or a crazy over-clockable 6 core..
dual vs quad memory who knows? i want to see benchmarks before i comment
on a different note the 14 Sata ports onboard should prove interesting
a potential for the end of expensive raid controllers?
only way intel will release early is if AMD's Bulldozer amounts to anything.. (dont hold your breath)
Q1 2012 will bring 22nm Ivy Bridge aside from the obvious die shrink (which means cooler and therfore higher Ghz able)
again not a new processor architecture, is the tri-gate (3D gate)
a lot of comments have been made about this (tri-gate). those of you who think this is a big deal you need to re-read.
it benefits low voltage (embedded) processors more than standard desktop/workstation.
yes it will be a benefit all areas but not the 30-37% being mentioned for desktop.
and FYI those numbers mean % increase in gate off gate on. not 37% increase in actual performance.
the die shrink will add more preformance ability.
its not if but when we will see the 8 core processors.
Q1 12 will also bring Ivy Bridge socket 1155 processors, again a die shrink and tri-gate added. so those who did the sandy bridge this yr still have an upgrade path.
if any socket is dead its X58 as it has no future other than the 980 (non x version) releasing in a few days basically replacing the 970 at the same price point.
thats EOL for that platform.