Intel has resumed shipments of a chipset with a flawed design, but only for PCs that are not affected by the issue. Intel also says it will start shipping new chipsets in mid-February.
A week after
announcing a design flaw in a chipset tied to its "Sandy Bridge" processor
platform, Intel is resuming shipments of the chipset to PC makers whose PC
configurations are not affected by the problem.
In a statement
released Feb. 7, Intel officials said their decision comes after a week of
meeting with OEMs and following specific requests from some PC makers. Intel
did not specify which systems makers made the request.
makers who have committed to shipping the Intel 6 Series Chipset in PC system
configurations that are not impacted by the design issue will be receiving
these shipments," Intel officials said in a statement.
On Jan. 31,
Intel executives announced that they had discovered a design flaw in the
chipset the week before, and had subsequently found a fix for the problem and
were beginning to manufacture new chipsets with the problem corrected. They
also had stopped shipments of the problem chipsets, about 8 million of which
had been shipped and some of which had been put into systems that had been
bought by end-users.
As part of the
update announced Feb. 7, Intel executives also said they have started
manufacturing the new chipsets, which now should start shipping in
mid-February. Last week, they had said shipments would start in late February.
executives said they had made the decision to stop shipments of the flawed
chipset on Jan. 30, and began working with PC makers
the next day. They
estimated that the issue could cost Intel $1 billion in lost revenue and
flaw affected four of six SATA (Serial ATA) ports in the chipset, which over
time could cause problems in the performance of such PC peripherals as the SATA
hard-disk drive or optical drive. Endpoint Technology Associates analyst Roger
Kay noted that the problem affected the four 3G bps SATA ports, and not the two
6G bps ports that are most often used by consumers, so many end users will not
have any issues down the road.
executives estimated that the problem could affect 5 to 15 percent of the
chipsets made, and stressed that the issue was with the chipset and not the
Sandy Bridge processors. The second-generation core processors were rolled out
at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, and key among their features
is discrete-level graphics capabilities integrated with the CPU onto a single
piece of silicon.
Jan. 31 announcement, PC makers began working with the chip giant to figure out
how to address the problem. A host of OEMs, including Hewlett-Packard
, Dell, Acer and
Samsung Electronics, said they were offering customers who had bought systems
with the flawed chipset the chance to return the PCs for repair or replacement.
already stopped shipping the products impacted by this issue and has instituted
a program to assist customers who purchased affected units," a company
spokesperson said in a statement released Feb. 4. "At the same time, Acer is
working in close collaboration with Intel to coordinate the next steps."
that in the long term, the chipset problem would have little impact on Intel
beyond the $1 billion financial hit but that the PC makers would bear the
brunt of dealing with customers. They also said the problem could give Intel rival
Advanced Micro Devices a brief boost in the tight competition around systems on