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Intel is working to fix a design flaw in its Sandy Bridge chipsets relating to SATA performance

Intel has just issues a statement regarding its Series 6 (Cougar Point) chipset and a design flaw that has been uncovered. The company reports the following:

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue.

As Intel notes, the actual Sandy Bridge processor is not affected by this design error, and it stopped shipment of chipsets that are hampered by this SATA performance degradation problem. Intel also states that it will begin shipping "fixed" chipsets towards the end of February to its customers.

"The systems with the affected support chips have only been shipping since January 9th and the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue," stated Intel in the press release. "The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems. 

This little gaffe is expected to cost Intel $1B USD ($300M hit to revenue, $700M to repair/replace boards).

Intel made headlines last week when it named Blacked Eye Peas front man as its Director of Creative Innovation.

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Intel says thnaks...
By Marlin1975 on 1/31/2011 11:03:12 AM , Rating: 1
Intel says thanks for being beta testers, chumps.

Looks like intel is only recalling the chips from OEMs and will not help end users. So if the board makers will not do a recall or help you then you are stuck.

RE: Intel says thnaks...
By Marlin1975 on 1/31/2011 11:26:49 AM , Rating: 3
Oh and we should find out real fast what board makers step up and which ones don't.

Gigabyte always seems to have great customer service.

RE: Intel says thnaks...
By FITCamaro on 1/31/2011 1:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Intel will likely be paying for any replacements so a manufacturer has no reason not to replace a board sold. Obviously the problem is bad enough for them to even tell people about it and then silently fix it. So if you have a board that is affected, contact the manufacturer or OEM and get it replaced.

RE: Intel says thnaks...
By Justin Time on 1/31/2011 3:46:32 PM , Rating: 2

Intel's policy allows the OEM to implement the required procedures for handling this with retailers, who should then support end users.

Intel will be wearing the cost to the OEM, who in-turn should cover the cost to the retailer, who should should cover the cost to the end-user (such as freight) so that all costs eventually end up with Intel.

Nevertheless, it's still a major PITA to everyone.

RE: Intel says thnaks...
By bplewis24 on 1/31/2011 11:50:00 AM , Rating: 5
True, at least they admit to it being a design flaw. Some other company would deny it being a flaw and offer a free PCIe SATA card to make up for the fact that you were plugging in your SATA cables wrong :D


RE: Intel says thnaks...
By bupkus on 1/31/2011 4:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a little surprised they don't offer a rebate for those folks who can work around the problem and keeping the board.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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