Intel is planning to release several new 7 series chipsets in the second quarter of 2012, the Taiwan-based technology news outlet DigiTimes reported on Wednesday.
Intel's new chipsets for consumers, the Z77, Z75 and H77, will launch in March or April 2012, and will support both existing 32-nm Sandy Bridge-based CPUs and upcoming 22-nm Ivy Bridge-based CPUs. The new motherboard chipsets will introduce native USB 3.0 support, according to the DigiTimes report.
An Intel spokesperson declined to comment on the reported features or launch date, citing Intel's policy not to respond to speculation and rumor.
Intel's 7 series chipsets for the enterprise market, named Q77, Q75 and B75, will also launch in Q2 2012, according to DigiTimes, which cites unnamed sources in the motherboard industry. Updated vPro technologies, a set of features aimed at improving remote maintenance and increasing security, will launch with the three enterprise chipsets, while only the Q77 will support Intel Smart Response technology.
These new chipsets will replace Intel's 6 series chipsets, code-named Cougar Point, which the company recalled in January due to a circuit design error. Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs running on the chipsets were not affected by the error, but Intel had to work hard to make that distinction clear.
Intel's product roadmap for the desktop enthusiast market was leaked in April, in a slide that appeared to outline desktop processor launches through the first half of 2012. The slides show Ivy Bridge processors scheduled to go to market in the first half 2012.