Not so long ago, we reported that Intel decided to postpone the launch of it upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors to the start of 2012, but recent information has come to suggest there is still a possibility that the LGA-2011 platform will be released by the end of the year.
From the data that is available at this point in time, we know that the delay was caused by several issues that Intel is having with both the X79 chipset and the future Sandy Bridge-E chips.
These range from PCI Express troubles to a new CPU revision, but Intel is reportedly working around the clock to get them fixed so that the Waimea Bay platform may still be launched in 2011. However, this will require for a series of features to be removed.
On the chipset front, Intel will be forced to drop the X79 PCH specifications to those of the Patsburg-B, which means that the PCI Express 3.0 storage uplink, which directly connected the CPU with the SAS/SATA controller, as well as four SATA/SAS 6Gbps ports will have to be removed.
While this may not be such a big deal for those users who don't require a blazing fast storage system, the lack of PCI Express Gen 3 support in Sandy Bridge-E may prove to be a huge disappointment for some.
Intel seems to blame this decision to the lack of PCI Express 3.0 add-on cards which can be used to test the CPU's compliance with the standard.
On top of all the chipset issues, Sandy Bridge-E processors also seem to have a few problems of their own, as Intel is now waiting for a new revision to be ready (C-1) before it can feel confident with the processor.
Depending on how quickly the Santa Clara chip giant manages to resolve all these issues, Sandy Bridge-E could actually be launched in time for Christmas. What we don't know at this point in time is just how many features on the initial specifications list will have to be dropped for this to happen.
All the removed options are expected to become available in future CPU and chipset revisions.