In an update on ASICMiner's chips posted on BitcoinTalk friedcat reports that "The samples passed all functionality tests. The power consumption is also within the expected range. And as our overclocking tests had shown, they still have a lot of potentials compared to our original spec. This means that the biggest risk of our project is gone and our NRE is a fruitful spend."
Friedcat then goes on to say that their first batch of ASIC's should be on their way to the packaging plant tomorrow.
It seems that ASICMiner are now even closer to moving into limited bitcoin ASIC mining, but with the shareholders still unable to trade stocks due to the recent failure of GLBSE, and ASICMiner still being owed bitcoin by the defunct trading platform it seems uncertain how or when they will be able to move forward into full production.
Unfortunately there does not appear to be any updates so far this year from any of the bitcoin ASIC mining competition. Avalon's Countdown now shows 16 days till shipping, BFL_Josh over at Butterfly Labs still appears very confidant that they will be shipping this month (so much so that they are continuing to give away a 30 GHash/s Little Single SC every week).
The last competitor, BTCFPGA seems to be very tight lipped on where they are up to in the ASIC race (or even if they are up to anything at all).