Although the item is no longer for sale–likely due to threatened legal action from Intel–an Eight core (socket 2011) Sandy Bridge chip briefly went on sale for a sum of $1359.99 on auction site Ebay.
The chip reads "Intel Confidential Q19D ES 1.60GHz" and is alleged to be a preview chip for a socket 2011 Sandy Bridge processor capable of 8cores/16threads at 1.6Ghz. AMD’s Bulldozer chips rocking eight cores have been announced for some time now and are planned to release in the first half of this year. Intel has been content in fighting AMD’s six core chips with its hyperthreaded quad cores; however, as more prevalent and optimized multi-threaded applications take advantage of AMDs higher number of physical cores, Intel may be planning to match AMD physical core for physical core in a plan to keep AMD at bay.
The new Intel chips should help to slow AMD’s rise in server market share, while also trickling down the idea of (further optimized) multi-threaded applications to consumer markets. With that said, even though consumer level applications cannot currently fully utilize sixteen threads, the Tim Taylor-esque part of many hardware enthusiasts (especially folders) would love to have one anyway!