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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 will.i.am as its Director of Creative Innovation.



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RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/31/2011 11:38:14 AM , Rating: -1
That's what u get for buying intel. lol


RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By Gungel on 1/31/2011 11:45:34 AM , Rating: 5
I always wait 3-6 month before buying new tech. Let others be beta testers.


RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By zmatt on 1/31/2011 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 3
Is that to imply that somehow Intel products are intrinsically lower quality than others? Maybe you need to do some research and see how other's cpus and motherboards have had some embarrassing problems over the years. The law of averages states that something like this will happen, what should determine how Intel's reputation takes it is how they handle it. If they replace the motherboards with little fuss and apologize who cares? IMO it says a lot about a company in how they handle these kinds of situations.


RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By BruceLeet on 1/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By omnicronx on 1/31/2011 3:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I agree with the OP at all, but your little 'law of averages speil' is anything but fact. Its not some kind of mathematical equation that can be followed, but the foolish notion that any possible event will eventually happen, completely independent of sample size.(opposed to certain laws of probability that deal with large sets of data, LLN for example)

Something like this should have never reached preproduction, let alone production systems. Its a giant lapse in Q/A and we as consumers surely SHOULD care..

Not that Intel makes bad products, but that hardly means this should be forgotten. Those impacted will surely think twice about buying a new Intel product next time, perhaps waiting for other early adopters to take the plunge.

While I would tend to agree how they handle the issue will make a difference here, it does not change the underlying issue that Intel's Q/A team failed big time.


RE: I wonder if it's possible...
By silverblue on 1/31/2011 12:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
They had that infamous pin contact issue with some S1156 chipsets, however with such a massive company producing so many products per year, it's inevitable that something might go wrong.

AMD had the TLB issue with the original Phenoms so bad stuff happens really, no matter who you are.


By putergeek00 on 1/31/2011 1:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying AMD would have been a better choice? At least Intel didn't knowingly put out bad components and tell the customers about it months later... Remember AMD's Phenom TLB issue?


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