On Monday last week, Intel announced that shipments of bug-free, B3-stepping 6-series chipsets for Sandy Bridge processors would begin in the middle of the month. Now, DigiTimes has word from sources at notebook design manufacturers that Intel is indeed shipping the new chipsets to "first-tier notebook and motherboard makers." On the mobile side of things, DigiTimes expects a "number of brand-name notebook vendors" to launch new systems later this month.
Toshiba, for instance, is expected to unleash three Sandy Bridge notebooks on February 23—one with a 13.3" display, another with a 14" panel, and a larger 15" offering. Actual availability will reportedly follow in mid-March. DigiTimes adds that Acer and Asus should start shiping Sandy Bridge laptops in mid-March, as well.
The story doesn't go into detail about motherboards. However, if Asus gets to ship bug-free Sandy Bridge laptops in mid-March, perhaps some bug-free motherboards will find their way into the retail channel around the same time, too. On its support page for owners of buggy Sandy Bridge boards, Asus only says it "may take several or more weeks for replacement services to begin."