Intel usually launches two chipset series with its new platforms: a Z-series for enthusiasts and overclockers as well as an H-series for everyone else. This has not been the case with the Alder Lake desktop platform so far, as only the Intel Z690 chipset has been released. As it turns out based, according to unconfirmed reports form IT Home, Intel has cancelled release of its H670 chipset (at least for now), but has decided to proceed with lower-positioned chipsets in early 2022 in its place.
Apparently, Instead of launching its H670 chipset along with its mainstream 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors at CES 2022, the company intends to release its more budget-focused B660 chipset early next year, alongside H610 for entry-level PCs, reports IT Home, citing MSI. Intel's H670 core-logic was expected to offer essentially the same feature set as the Intel Z690 chipset, but B660 and H610 will have considerably more moderate specs.
Apparently, MSI's B660M mortar motherboard comes with two PCIe x16 (Gen 5 + Gen 4) slots, one PCIe Gen 4.0 x1 slot, and two M.2 slots for SSDs (we have no information about version of PCIe here). As added bonuses, the platform will also feature one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port and one 2.5GbE connector. Details about Intel H610 motherboards are unclear at this point.
The release of Intel's B660 and H610 platforms alongside 65W Alder Lake processors is good news still, because there will be cheaper systems powered by the company's latest CPUs. There is one caveat though. If there is no H670 chipset, then the B660 core logic will inevitably take its place under the Z690 platform, which means relatively high prices of those motherboards.
What remains to be seen is whether Intel cancelled its H670 chipset in general, or postponed its launch to a later date for some reason. Given the ongoing shortage of components, it makes sense for all companies to cut down the number of SKUs in a bid to streamline production and simplify supply chain. However, with most Z690 motherboards selling well above $200, builders and system integrators could certainly benefit from lower-priced, feature-rich alternatives. So could Intel, as the high cost of Z690 boards (and DDR5) helps AMD's Ryzen platform remain fairly attractive, despite Intel delivering better performance in many use cases now.
Neither Intel or MSI have commented on this information, but with CES coming up in just over two weeks, we should know more about new Intel motherboards soon.