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Intel Sandy Bridge chipset flaw prompts recall

Seth Barton
31 Jan 2011
Intel
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$300 million to get back 6-series chipsets.

Intel has just sent out a press release that details a flaw in its latest desktop chipset. The Intel 6-series chipsets (presumably including both P67 and H67 flavours) are the only ones that support the new 2nd generation 'Sandy Bridge' Core i5 and i7 processors.

Apparently, the flaw is in the chipset's SATA ports, which can degrade over time and affect the performance of attached storage devices, such as hard disks and optical drives.

Intel plans to deliver an updated version of the chipset, with a fix, by February. Shipments of the chipset to date look likely to be recalled, and customers should contact their PC or hardware vendor for instructions on how to go about this.

Intel estimates the recall will cost the company $300 million, to stop production of the current chipset and start a fixed version, plus a further $700 million to repair and replace the affected hardware. It's likely to be a serious blow to the chip manufacturer's reputation, too.

Sandy Bridge processors have only be available since the start of January, with the early models, the Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K, impressing us with their performance. The only good news at the moment seems to be that the flaw manifests itself over time, so current brand new systems seem unlikely to be affected by any problems in the short term. In other words, if you've got a Sandy Bridge system, you should be able to hang on until you've got recall instructions without seeing any adverse effects.

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