HP officials said they will offer customers refunds or replacements for PCs that contain a flawed Intel chipset that is tied to the chip giant's "Sandy Bridge" platform.
Hewlett-Packard officials are halting production of PCs containing a flawed
chipset from Intel and offering replacements or refunds to consumers who
already have bought such systems.
decision follows Intel's announcement Jan. 31 that a design flaw in a
supporting chipset tied to its "Sandy Bridge" Core-i processors can cause
the PCs not to function properly. Intel has stopped producing the flawed
chipset and will start shipping fixed replacements in late February, with plans
to be back in full production by April, if not earlier.
actions mirror those of other
PC makers who are trying to handle the fallout from the Intel announcement.
Intel officials said they found the flaw in its 6-Series chipset-dubbed "Cougar
Point"-last week, created a fix and decided Jan. 30 to halt production. They
began talking with PC makers the same day they announced the decision to the
Dell, Samsung Electronics and others have said they are taking a range of
actions, including offering refunds or replacements to buyers of PCs with the
problem chipset. All said they are working closely with Intel on these plans.
Overall, the issue could cost Intel as much as $1 billion in lost revenue and related
expenses. Officials with the chip maker said about 8 million of the flawed
chipsets have been shipped.
officials said they, too, are working with Intel on the issue. In an e-mail to
eWEEK, an HP spokesperson said the chipset problem impacts a relatively small
number of PCs sold or ordered since Jan. 9. The affected PCs are mostly
consumer notebooks and desktops, though a commercial desktop targeted at SMBs
in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region also is impact.
the world's top PC maker, has stopped producing systems with the flawed
Cougar Point chipset, and is offering replacements or refunds to customers.
Officials also said they have put a hold on shipments of the PCs still in the
HP and channel inventories.
is working with Intel and our distribution partners to address this
industry-wide issue," the HP spokesperson said. "HP and Intel are working
together to minimize any inconvenience to customers."
first of the 32-nanometer Sandy Bridge chips were rolled out at CES (Consumer
Electronics Show) 2011 in early January and offer integrated CPU and graphics
capabilities on a single piece of silicon. The offering is similar in concept
to rival Advanced Micro Device's Fusion platform, which also also features
integrated CPUs and GPUs on a single die. The first of AMD's Fusion APUs
(accelerated processing units) also were introduced at CES.
to Intel officials, the design flaw in the 6-Series chipset impacts four of six
SATA (Serial ATA) ports, which over time could cause problems in the
performance of such PC components as SATA hard disk drives or optical drives.
The problem will not be apparent to users immediately, but manifest itself over
time. In addition, the officials said, the issue is only tied to the chipset,
not the Sandy Bridge chips themselves.
a Feb. 1 e-mail to eWEEK, Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research, said
while the problem may cost Intel as much as $1 billion in the long run, it's
the PC makers who will feel the greatest impact.
the cost of the fix isn't insignificant ... it's all relative to a highly
profitable company like Intel," King said. "The OEMs are the ones who will bear
the brunt of this, both in facilitating consumer exchanges and repairs and in
pulling/fixing stock that has been manufactured but not shipped."
said he expects Intel to pay back the PC makers for their time and expenses.