Intel confirmed on Monday that the dual-core version of its Sandy Bridge processor will begin to ship on February 20. Early last week, Intel disclosed the existence of a flaw in the SATA chipset for its second-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Over time, this flaw would degrade the performance of both internal DVD and hard drives.
Intel developed a fix for this hardware issue and began production of a new and improved chipset. Originally, Intel projected these updated chips would be available in mid-March, prompting speculation that this delay would alter the availability of Apple's 2011 MacBook Pro lineup.
With the possibility of a February availability date, computer manufacturers like Apple may not be affected by this flaw, and their 2011 inventory may roll out as planned. This is good news for Apple customers hoping to score a brand new MacBook Pro. That rumored March 11 date is now looking a bit more promising.