A source close to Intel confided to CNET that the Haswell processor is now shipping to major PC manufacturers and will launch later this quarter. Intel is expected to make a statement at the IDF in Beijing later this week.
Haswell, expected by June, is the next-generation mainstream Intel processor that will power ultrabooks and a variety of hybrids that straddle tablet and laptop designs. Haswell's new microarchitecture will deliver "the single largest generation-to-generation battery life improvement in Intel history," according to a recent statement from Intel CEO Paul Otellini.
Intel is also expected to reiterate that its next-generation Atom chip for smartphones, "Merrifield," will be shipping to customers by the end of the year.
One important thing to take in mind is that the first batch of Intel's Haswell chipsets have a bug that causes some USB 3.0 related issues when the system wakes up from S3 sleep mode. Among other things, this bug can make it necessary to reconnect USB 3.0 devices after waking up from standby. Haswell C1 stepping chipsets suffer from this problem, but the issue has been resolved in the C2 stepping chipsets, which will hit the market sometime after July 2013.