Intel puts Sandy Bridge parts out to pasture
September 26, 2012 // 10:45 a.m.
Intel has officially discontinued the bulk of its 32nm Sandy Bridge desktop processors as it looks to move its customers to the newer Ivy Bridge platform.
In a Product Change Notification to its customers and partners, Intel warned that it would be ceasing bulk production on a range of Sandy Bridge desktop processors, comprising the Core i5-2310, i5-2320, i5-2400S, i5-2405S, i5-2500, i5-2500K, i5-2500S, i5-2500T, i7-2600K, i7-2600S, and i7-2700K in both boxed retail and tray original equipment manufacturer (OEM) guises.
Ending volume production means that supplies of the chips will slowly disappear, although tray processors will still be shipping to customers that have placed orders until September next year. Boxed retail units, meanwhile, will be available 'while supplies last' according to Intel's official key milestone forecast. All models will continue to be purchasable until the end of March 2013 as Intel works to deplete inventory.
According to Intel, the reason for the change is a shift in customer requirements. 'Market demand for the products listed [...] have shifted to other Intel products. The products identified in this notification will be discontinued and unavailable for additional orders after the Last Product Discontinuance Order Date.'
Those distributors who desperately need the Sandy Bridge parts are being offered tray processors in place of the boxed models, although Intel is clearly hoping that by the time it has shipped its last boxed model retailers will have made the move to selling Ivy Bridge parts exclusively.
While it's obvious to see why Intel is discontinuing production of its last-generation 32nm Sandy Bridge parts, the company has also issued a second Product Change Notification this week for the Core i5-3450 - a 22nm Ivy Bridge part released last quarter. The reason for the 3.1GHz part's short lifespan is not declared, beyond the same woolly claim that market demand has shifted to other, unidentified parts.