Intel Identifies Chipset Error on Sandy Bridge Support Chip, Halts Shipments

This morning, Intel announced it had detected a serious error in one of the support chips that ships with its 2nd Generation Core Series CPUs (aka Sandy Bridge), and has stopped shipment of the affected chipsets while it manufactures new versions of the chip for shipment to customers in late February. The company expects full volume recovery in April and, accordingly adjusted its revenue projections lower by about $300 million. Due to the delays in shipping the chipset, OEMs may also choose to delay shipping some or all of the their new Sandy Bridge notebooks, though none of the notebook vendors has commented yet.

The flaw involves a a an Intel Series 6 support chip, code-named Cougar Point, that interacts with SATA-linked devices such as the hard drive and optical drive. On several of a system’s SATA ports, faulty metal on the chip  can cause  the signal to degrade over time, leading to errors, reduced speeds, and eventually an inability to read or write from that port.   The problem is undetectable on a new motherboard and only appears on a small percentage of systems – Intel says around 5 percent – over a period of weeks, months, or years.

“It’s beyond what we see as our quality standard and decided to take an aggressive action,” said Intel Vice President Steve Smith. In a conference all with press and analysts, Smith explained that though no end user has seen the error, Intel discovered the issue and wanted to address it before it could affect users.

The error does not affect the first two SATA ports on the motherboard, which operate at SATA 6 Gb/s speed. It also has no effect on the 2nd Generation Core Series CPU itself or other Intel components.

Considering that 2nd generation Core i5 and Core i7 systems have only been shipping since January 9th, and only in the more expensive quad core format, very few end users should own affected notebooks. However, if you did purchase a 2nd gen Core i5 or Core i7 system in the past few weeks, please contact your manufacturer. Intel will be working with OEMs to provide replacement motherboards as necessary.

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. marina Says:

    what about HP pavilion dv7-5000 with core i7-630QM CPU and 6 series\c 200 series chipset?

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE