Sandy Bridge chipsets are shipping out again. While you’re unlikely to see bug-free motherboards in stores for another few weeks (or months), Intel says it has resumed shipments of 6-series chipsets "for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue."
Intel’s announcement doesn’t delve into detail, but we can figure this one out. As we learned last week—and as I’ve now pointed out in news posts entirely too many times—the Sandy Bridge SATA bug doesn’t affect the two 6Gbps ports driven by 6-series chipsets. It follows that small-form-factor desktops and especially notebooks with room for only a couple of storage devices can continue to ship unhindered.
On a related note, Intel says it has kicked off manufacturing of bug-free chipsets and it "now expects to begin shipping the new parts in mid February." That’s a little sooner than the initially announced "late February" time frame. The chipmaker doesn’t say whether the new schedule means "full volume recovery" will follow before the April time frame it quoted last week, though.