Sources close to motherboard makers claim Intel started shipping its entry-level P31 and G31 chipsets to motherboard makers on Wednesday, July 4th.
The new P31 and G31 are going to replace the 945P, 945G and 945GL chipsets. They have support for 1066MHz FSB and DDR2 800MHz memory.
There's also some info about the G35 and the high-end X38, these chipsets should start shipping to motherboard makers by the end of this month.
The chipsets' pins are compatible with current 945G motherboard PCB traces, therefore motherboard makers do not need to redesign motherboards in order to adopt the new chips, noted the sources.
The chipsets were originally designed to only support 1066MHz FSB (front side bus) processors, however several motherboard makers have added the function to let the chipsets support 1333MHz FSB processors, noted the sources.
Although P31 and G31 adopt the relatively old ICH7 southbridge, the built-in IDE port in ICH7 proves an advantage since many consumers still own IDE-based products. Motherboard makers normally needed to add an extra IDE chip for the newer version southbridge chipsets, therefore the ICH7 chipsets can save the makers costs, noted the sources.
The P31 and G31 are to be priced at US$30 in 1000-unit tray quantities, while the 945P and 945G will have prices of US$33 and US$37, respectively in third quarter this year.