Intel resumes chipset shipments for PCs not affected by flaw

By on February 8, 2011, 8:30 AM
Roughly a week after announcing a design flaw in the "Cougar Point" chipset tied to its Sandy Bridge processor platform, Intel has announced it is resuming shipments of the defective part to manufacturers that plan to use it in systems that won't be affected by the glitch. Those systems could include "closed" notebook configurations using only the unaffected ports 0 & 1 (SATA III 6Gbps) as well as desktop PCs that ship with a PCI Express add-in card.

Intel said their decision comes after a week of meeting with OEMs and following specific requests from some PC makers who didn't want to sacrifice pent-up demand for the new Sandy Bridge parts. “Only computer 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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The design flaw affected four out of six SATA ports supported by the chipset -- specifically the four that provide 3Gbps operation -- which over time could cause problems in the performance of hard drives, optical drive or any other SATA connected devices. It's worth noting there are no flaws within the Sandy Bridge processors themselves.

It's not clear which companies exactly requested these shipments but fixed parts should start hitting the market soon. Intel executives said they have started manufacturing the new chipsets, which now should start shipping in mid-February instead of by the end of the month as originally planned.

User Comments: 8

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sMILEY4ever said:

Finally some good news.

Lurker101 said:

It's not really good news though. All that's happened is, they've decided to continue selling a defective chipset. The issue isn't fixed, they're just selling it to those who shouldn't be affected by the defect.

Guest said:

The good news that I assume the first poster was referring to was the faster than first anticipated shipping time for the corrected chipset. Hopefully that moves the board makers a couple of weeks up on their release of mobos with the corrected chipsets.

Intel has my respect for being up front about the problem and aggressive about resolving it. We all make mistakes, but it is how we handle those mistakes that truly defines the character of a man. Despite the cost to Intel and the inconvenience to customers and manufacturers the correction of the defective chipset has caused, let's not overlook the fact that Intel did the right thing.

Guest said:

How will I be able to tell if I purchased a flawed chip ? part number dated perhaps ?

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I'm not sure how the OEMs intend to go around the Cougar Point flaw. I'm thinking probably disabling the affected SATA II ports in the BIOS or maybe using non-upgradable configurations.

Guest said:

Before this flaw surfaced I was considering upgrading to a Sandy Bridge based system, but now I will be avoiding them like the plague. This is a big enough flaw that it should have been caught LONG before any parts got shipped. It's been compared to the Pentium math bug, but that was an obscure problem that only showed up under very remote circumstances. The Sandy Bridge issue is an ever-present problem on the SATA-II bus, a vital bus for most of us system builders and power-users.

To make matters worse, Intel is shipping KNOWN DEFECTIVE PARTS!!!

AMD, I'm coming back home!

Guest said:

Hopefully, there is a good way to reference which part is which down the road. There will surely be people trying to take advantage of this issue in sales at a later point in time. It might not be on purpose, but there are going to be problems. I hope they are willing to support the problems they are now creating.

wizardB wizardB said:

How about from reports the defect won't show until after the warranty is up so they really don't care!!

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