Googles Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes has noted that the next iteration of the Penguin update will launch and process as a real-time algorithm update in the foreseeable future.
The Penguin update has been a periodic manual update to the algorithm that processes primarily on inbound links. Its focus is to combat spam in the form of link purchases, manipulative linking networks, and various link purchasing schemes.
A live, real-time penguin will result in some interesting dynamics in search results. Currently, if you suspect your site has been hit by a linking penalty, the correction process involves correcting the issue (usually by removing or disavowing any offending links) and then submitting a re-inclusion request. Today those requests can take several months to process, and usually recovery does not occur until the next penguin which can be as long as a year. The last Penguin update occurred on October 17th 2014.
If Google succeeds in incorporating Penguin as a real time algorithm, this will have some good, and bad implications. If you are good guy and abide by the rules but happen to be hit with a penalty, this will allow you to recover and return to business as usual in a relatively short amount of time. For those legitimate spammers out there this can result in penalties being delivered much more swiftly.
Back in June, Illyes noted that such an update was months away. At SMX East on Thursday he mentioned that it could be incorporated as early as late this year. Merry Christmas from Google!