You know the saying: where there's smoke, there's fire. DigiTimes claims to have learned of Intel's schedule for upcoming 6-series chipsets. This schedule likely applies to Intel's next-gen Sandy Bridge processors, as well, since previous reports tell us the upcoming CPUs will require those chipsets.
According to DigiTimes, the 6-series chipset family will roll out some time during the first quarter of 2011. The lineup will include Q67, Q65, B65, H67 and P67 offerings. Reportedly, the latter two will target "the consumer market," much like the H55 and P55 do today.
Motherboards based on those chipsets could be backward-compatible with existing Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7-800 processors. The same story that tied Sandy Bridge to 6-series chipsets also suggested Sandy Bridge desktop processors will have LGA1156 packages.
A first-quarter release for Sandy Bridge could put some pressure on AMD, which continues to quote a vague 2011 release time frame for Bulldozer, its own next-gen, 32-nm CPU architecture. We may see AMD's 32-nm Llano design in the early part of that same year, though, since it's based on the same architecture as the Phenom II. AMD seems intent on working out the kinks with GlobalFoundries' 32-nm SOI process using a known architecture before attempting to mass-produce Bulldozer.