Intel has announced that its will start shipping its B3 stepping 6-Series chipset chips by February 14th. In case you somehow managed to miss this one, we are still talking about Intel's chipset that is plagued by the now quite famous SATA 3Gbps bug.
Intel is still sticking behind its promise that it will ship these products by the end of February. The new stepping has several updates including the change of revision ID from 04h to 05h, BIOS update to 1.1.4 and minor metal layer change improving lifetime wear out with no changes to functionality or design specifications (the one that fixes SATA 3.0Gbps issue).
Of course, bear in mind that this is the date when Intel will ship the new B3 revision chip to the manufactures and most certainly doesn't mean that you will see it in channel. We had a nice chat with a couple of people and in most cases it takes one week to get it to manufacturers, two weeks in order for them to put it on their motherboards and around six weeks for the final product to reach its destination. Of course these are rough timelines that also depend on the region and minor changes can happen.
As always, OEMs will probably get the first batch and channel might get it, in the best case scenario, by the end of March or in early April. Of course, there might be a lot of people waiting for a replacement so you have to count them in as well, and there is no way to find out how big will the first shipment be so you might see the new B3 Sandy Bridge on retail/e-tail shelves sometime in April or even later.
Of course, as we wrote earlier, some retailers/e-tailers and OEMs are still happily selling the old B2 revision.