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Intel Corp. on Monday said that it had discovered an errata of Serial ATA controller within its 6-series core-logic set that supports latest Core i “Sandy  Bridge” microprocessors. The company will recall and replace about eight million chipsets with new ones. The company claims that the vast majority of end-users will hardly experience actual problems as the probability of failure is about 1%. Quite naturally, until the issue is resolved, consumers should not get Sandy Bridge-based systems.

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel 6-series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. In some cases, the Serial ATA ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and optical disc drives. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue. Still, with no chipsets for Sandy Bridge, it is highly likely that a lot of manufacturers will halt shipments of systems featuring the latest microprocessors.

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 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 the latest 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.

For the first quarter of 2011, Intel expects this issue to reduce revenue by approximately $300 million as the company discontinues production of the current version of the chipset and begins manufacturing the new version. Full-year revenue is not expected to be materially affected by the issue. Total cost to repair and replace affected materials and systems in the market is estimated to be $700 million. Since this issue affected some of the chipset units shipped and produced in the fourth quarter of 2010, the company will take a charge against cost of goods sold, which is expected to reduce the fourth quarter gross margin percentage by approximately 4% from the previously reported 67.5%. The company will also take a charge in the first quarter of 2011, which will lower the previously communicated gross margin percentage by 2% points and the full-year gross margin percentage by one percentage point.

Tags: Intel, Cougar Point, Failures


Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 01/31/11 01:59:22 PM
Latest comment: 02/06/11 11:35:31 PM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads


Not good for Intel ,but big opportunity for AMD, which should not miss.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 01/31/11 01:59:22 PM]

"Interestingly enough the problem doesn’t affect ports 0 & 1 on the 6-series chipset. Remember that Intel has two 6Gbps ports and four 3Gbps ports on P67/H67, only the latter four are impacted by this problem. Intel expects that over 3 years of use it would see a failure rate of approximately 5 - 15% depending on usage model."

It's great that Intel at least halted shipments unlike RROD for Xbox360 and Microsoft denying for years it had problems with the system. Temporary solution for SB owners is to simply use the SATA 3.0 ports.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 01/31/11 09:53:18 PM]

Anton what about data on affected ports ?.Intact on hard disk or not ?
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 02/01/11 12:33:51 AM]

So, here`s an idea

Buy this motherboard... because shops will carry on selling what they have.In three years or so say that (the fault mentioned) is happening and under general use you want a replacement. The motherboard will probably out of stock by then (if your lucky) and you`ll get a free upgrade to the motherboad (at least) of what ever is available at the time due to evidence of the design fault.

Worst scenario is getting a brand new motherboard back in three years or so...thats if the shop you brought it from don`t ask for a recall.

(I say three years due to this from another site:- `Intel estimates that something like 5% of systems could develop problems over a three-year life span, assuming typical laptop usage patterns. Beyond that time window, the failure rate might rise further. For systems with heavier usage patterns, the failure rate during that initial three-year window could be as high as roughly 15%`) Ouch
0 0 [Posted by: efex  | Date: 02/01/11 12:46:56 AM]

What's strange is that INTEL does this very often. Here's how many issues I remember where they've SHIPPED faulty products :

1.FDIV bug ,

2.Pentium 3 1GHz recalling,

3.PAT enabled chipsets overheating expensive memory from OCZ or Crucial,

4. Now these chipsets also shipped without proper testing .

They've made a habit using their customers as lab rats that do the testing for them .
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 02/01/11 05:06:31 AM]
- collapse thread

+ i820 MCH recall
0 0 [Posted by: Tester128  | Date: 02/01/11 04:58:50 PM]
There where no i820 MCH recall. It's was the Rambus->DRAM converters that were buggy. Intel replaced their VC820 motherboards with bugfree Rambus equipped models AND 256mb of memory. Of course a mistake like that one should not have passed through testing. Intel realised that and demoted certain people who had rushed the product to market.
0 0 [Posted by: Tomas  | Date: 02/02/11 09:16:03 AM]
That's actually a very short and old list (and slightly faulty list) that only proves that Intel is committed 100% to ensuring the quality of their product. You just don't encounter many buggy intel systems in the wild because of early and effective recalls. So the real question is: Why don't AMD do the same thing? Don't they have the money? Don't they care about quality? I have tested lots and lots of buggy AMD systems through the years. Some of them I couldn't even give away for free. They were that bad. Even when AMD admits to errata, like the buggy time stamp counters in the Athlon64 X2, they only do software workarounds...
0 0 [Posted by: Tomas  | Date: 02/02/11 09:08:59 AM]

I have 3 HDDs and 2 ODDs, all SATA. How can you run these from only 2 SATA ports?
0 0 [Posted by: bbo320  | Date: 02/01/11 05:24:51 AM]

I'm furious because lot of money I've invested in those MOBOs. And, most MOBOs are not from Intel. How should I approach Gigabyte and Asus for replacement? That too they have bad support, just getting crazy!
0 0 [Posted by: bulava  | Date: 02/01/11 09:00:06 AM]

People forget fast about the AMD K10's cache errors, which was not recalled, and people just had to deal with a worse product. Although this problem is probably a little worse since it can possible lead to a product that doesn't operate at all for the intended purpose (if you want more then 2 drives). I think Intel did the only right thing which is to offer free replacement.

If you bought your motherboard from a vendor such as Asus or Gigabyte but already know you do not like their support , then you got what you expected when you chose to use them. But they will more likely be willing to give repairs out since this will not cost them as much as a problem that was their own fault. Additionally this defect most likely will not even cause any problems for you since the 10-15% failure rate only shows up over 3 years not in the 1 month you had it + 1 month while Intel produces replacement products.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 02/01/11 12:36:35 PM]

All the bridges were destroyed.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 02/02/11 02:52:07 PM]

Hmmm ... how complete hypocrites can some people be. Did INTEL decide to recall their products at least 6 times in recent history ? They did ! How are you going to say some idiotic sh*it like that can't be classified as a recall?

What's strange is that INTEL does this very often. Here's how many issues I remember where they've SHIPPED faulty products :

1.FDIV bug ,

2.Pentium 3 1GHz recalling,

3.i820 MCH recall due to not caring to test the technology they were shipping to their customers. Some say that's Rambus' fault but Rambus wasn't manufacturing and selling the chipsets. INTEL was.

4.The ICH6 factory layer problem. That was a recall but not to all the products on the market just some i915/i925 maiboards but their goes to prove again that INTEL does NOT quality test their products even 24 hours before packaging.

5.PAT enabled chipsets overheating expensive memory from OCZ or Crucial,

6. Now these chipsets also shipped without proper testing .

They've made a habit using their customers as lab rats that do the testing for them .

AMD had the cache problem but that wasn't manifesting in ANY of the home user's system. Only in professional applications and only in less than 0,1% of the situations. AMD did not issue a recall because the problem was SOLVABLE with a BIOS patch is you had to use ONE application that would manifest the problem.

INTEL's bugs were NOT solvable by software. How the f*ck are you gonna resolve by software a sub par overheating CPU that you're launched just to fool the market into believing you're able to keep pace with AMD's frequency. The performance race was already lost for INTEL the minute AMD launched the Athlon.
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 02/02/11 11:30:17 PM]

it is funny when there is 'processorism' (obsessed and fanatic with processor). hey, i don't care if you're amd fanatic or intel fanatic, just withdraw your money, and buy what do you like, rather than trying to defend or offend what your like or not.

in this situation, intel dare to call all chipset back. for those who already own the 6 series chipset, can return the board back from where did you buy starting early of march when board manufacturer already shipping the new revision of the board with the new chipset. major board manufacturer like asus, gigabyte give offer either board swapping or return your money. i prefer to get a new board, since it only 3 months old and that "errata" suppose degrade sata 2.0 performance after 3 years continous usage.

so what is the big issue? the big issue is, people who don't like intel give their self theory, and do product comparison. you are acting like a CHILDISH. like? buy! don't like? buy another products. what is so difficult about it?
0 0 [Posted by: cybersans  | Date: 02/06/11 11:35:31 PM]


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