CEO Paul Otellini confirmed that Ivy Bridge 22 nm processor volume production has already begun, which is a rather significant achievement as there have been apparently no major hiccups in the implementation of its 3D transistor technology. There has always been the question how Intel defines "volume", but vice president Mooly Eden told me years ago that Intel would only consider a production process volume production if it affects "millions" of processors.
Intel also stated that Ivy bridge is on target for a late Q4 "qualification for sale", which means that Intel will be begin shipping final products to its customers in the second half of the quarter. This will allow Intel to maintain its tick-tock cadence and keep the claim that a production shrink has been introduced in yet another uneven year (and so that it can state that its 22 nm chips were released in 2011). Of course, that does not mean that you will be able to buy those chips in 2011. According to Otellini, first Ivy Bridge systems should become available in Spring 2012. As Ivy Bridge is introduced and ramping up, Intel expects that its profit margins will improve as well.
Sandy Bridge has, despite an initial hiccup, worked out well for Intel. The company is on track to report $55 billion of revenue for 2011, up more than $11 billion over 2010.