Intel reported today that it has discovered a design flaw in its recently released Intel® 6 Series support chip, code-named Cougar Point, which is estimated to cost the company $700 million to repair and replace.
According to Intel, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives.
The “Cougar Point” chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel’s latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has corrected the design issue and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue.
The company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April.
For computer makers and other Intel customers that have bought potentially affected chipsets or systems, Intel says it will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems. The systems with the affected support chips have only been shipping since January 9th and the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue. The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems. Intel believes that consumers can continue to use their systems with confidence, while working with their computer manufacturer for a permanent solution.