The previous generation of Intel processors with integrated graphics had them on package, not on die. I believe that the CPU cores were 32nm while the graphics cores were 45nm.They already have, they were just testing it out. Intel's i5s and i think i3s already have an iGPU. AMD also proved they could do it, they just don't have it on a desktop CPU. Their laptop processors do have an iGPU however.
The die space is wasted, you do realize that on sandy bridge once a discrete GFX card is in use the IGP on the CPU will simply shit down? So no it will not be used toward offloading calculations, the discrete card will have to take care of that.1) The die size 'wasted' on the IGP is not wasted. Today, many calculations can be offloaded to the GPU. If that trend continues, the IGP would in effect be an extra processor core that only takes effect in computationally intensive applications. That's not a waste at all...
Yeah, I know and agree but I would hope they would make a version of sandy bridge without the IGP for those few of us who don't want it.2) You might not use an IGP, but a majority of the market does - with good reason. Modern IGP's can do all the things Average Joe asks of them (video playback, web browsing, casual gaming and word processing) quite well.
Intel has everything to gain. Intel has already dealt with the entire antitrust issue for the most part and it is unlikely that intel will be brought up again for integrating its GPU into the CPU.3) Intel has nothing to gain from strong arming Nvidia GPU's out of the market. First and foremost it would cause massive antitrust regulations, and second it would mean they'd effectively cede the GPU market to arch rival AMD.
There is no hybrid Crossfire/SLI with Sandy Bridge, as I said before the IGP will be disabled.FYI, IGP's can already be used in Crossfire/SLI with discrete GPU's (Hybrid SLI/Crossfire anyone?). However, only for the lowest of lowest end GPU's there's a noticeable performance benefit. Even the 5450 fails to post significant gains. After all, IGP's are terribly weak and their Crossfire/SLI scaling is absolutely pathetic.