During the coming-out party for Intel's Sandy Bridge microarchitecture at Chipzilla's developer shindig in San Francisco this week, two magic words were repeatedly invoked in tech session after tech session: "modular" and "scalable". Key to those Holy Grails of architectural flexibility is the architecture's ring interconnect.
"We have a very modular architecture," said senior principal engineer Opher Kahn at one session. "This ring architecture is laid out in such a way that we can easily add and remove cores as necessary. The graphics can also have different versions."