Intel Identifies Chipset Design Error, Implementing Solution

Intel have just announced a design flaw in their Sandy bridge chipsets, meaning that any computer produced by any manufacturer containing a H67/P67 chipset is affected.

If your computer contains an Intel Core i5/i7 2400, 2500, 2500k, 2600 or 2600k you may be affected by this:

Intel Newsroom: Chipset Design Error

It’s a pretty minor flaw actually. An estimated failure rate of the less-used SATA ports is less than 5% after three years. If you’re that bothered, use the SATA 6Gb/s ports, of which all boards will have two and some have four. 95% of users require no more than two.

The only way Intel were able to find this flaw was to run the ports at an extremely elevated temperature and the ports over voltage for a significant time to ‘simulate’ years of use.

Although this will hit them a small blow as it has effected their closing financial statements for the last quarter of 2010 and impacted the first quarter this year, here is a quote from the newsroom on their financial implications:

“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 percentage points from the previously reported 67.5 percent. The company will also take a charge in the first quarter of 2011which will lower the previously communicated gross margin percentage by 2 percentage points and the full-year gross margin percentage by one percentage point.”

That being said, they have just announced they had completed the acquisition of the Infineon Technologies AG Wireless Solutions business, which will now operate as the Intel Mobile Communications group. The company also expects to complete the acquisition of McAfee by the end of the first quarter.

PC Specialist issued a statement this morning also advising customers what they can do with their current systems or current orders with the affected chipset. The main options are, either they can install or send out PCI/PCI-E SATA cards to bypass the effected SATA sockets, or when the new stock starts arriving they can send their PC back for a replacement board.

Unfortunately Intel have only just revised the design and started manufacturing the new version of the boards so stock is not expected to start shipping until the end of February and the backlog  is unlikely to be cleared until mid-late April. This will also deal a small blow to OEM companies as they are now not able to build and sell the Sandy Bridge systems so are now relying solely on the AMD brand and the original i-series systems to generate income.

the author

Author at ManaPool. Working in the IT industry but with a strong passion for gaming, Gary resides near Brighton, England. He has tactical superiority of RTS games but likes to dabble in turn-based to provide entertainment for the founder of Manapool Peter. Known for hopping from MMO to MMO Gary has a wide array of experience playing MMO's but is hard to impress after playing the likes of Ultima Online and Anarchy Online. Also known for bad typing and rambling.