More affordable Core i7 derivatives may arrive sooner rather than later. According to Fudzilla, P55 motherboards compatible with Intel's upcoming Lynnfield CPUs—referred to as "Core i5" by some rumor sites—will start shipping in July.
Reportedly, current prototype P55 boards will have reached their final forms in time for the Computex trade show in early June. Fudzilla however warns that Intel could postpone shipments if it chooses to offer Lynnfield CPUs behind schedule. Officially, the chipmaker says Lynnfield will launch in the second half of this year—as nebulous as release time frames get.
Speaking of P55 motherboards, the guys at Hardware Aktuell have nabbed photos of upcoming P55 motherboards from Biostar and Gigabyte. (We already saw photos of Asus' and MSI's prototypes earlier this week.) The Gigabyte board will apparently have three physical PCI Express x16 slots with CrossFire and SLI support, and the display card mentions integrated audio with a 106dB signal-to-noise ratio. The Biostar board looks a tad less exciting, but its missing heatsink gives a glimpse of the P55 chipset.
In a separate report, Fudzilla writes that Intel will change sockets from "LGA-1156" to "LGA-1156B" to accommodate 32nm Westmere processors with integrated graphics early next year. That could mean initial P55 desktop mobos might only ever support 45nm Lynnfield CPUs.