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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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