Intel's next-generation Haswell chips are already in the hands of system builders and could be launched within the next month, sources have told PC Pro.
An executive within British system builder, Boston, told PC Pro that one of its suppliers already has processors based on Haswell, the successor to Intel's Ivy Bridge platform.
Reports had suggested that Intel would officially unveil the Haswell processors at the Computex trade show in Taiwan at the beginning of June. However, a separate source has suggested that the processors could be made available sooner, possibly as early as next month.
Intel famously builds processors to a "tick-tock" schedule, where a "tick" represents a shift to a new, smaller manufacturing process, and a "tock" is a new architecture built on an existing, proven manufacturing process.
Haswell is a "tock", using the same 22nm process as last year's Ivy Bridge processors, but with big improvements to energy efficiency and integrated GPU performance.
Intel also expects the coming generation of PCs to bring increased support for its Thunderbolt interconnect technology, with Intel's director of marketing for Thunderbolt, Jason Ziller, looking forward to a "significant ramp" in the number of systems shipping with Thunderbolt ports.
I have been speculating on this board that Intel may pull a surprise early launch. Intel never said it was the beginning of June but that has been the rumor. The timetable doesn't make sense against all the other information I am getting. Intel has an order to things and they generally take a certain amount of time to complete each step. Seems by my estimates they should release late April early May.
Intel is very good about making products immediately available upon release. Although June 2 is the official release date it would certainly be positive if it were sooner. At minimum it probably means one won't have any difficulty getting products once they are released.