Intel last week announced that a small design problem with a transistor on a support chip for the Sandy Bridge processors would cost them $700 million. Today it announced it was ready to start shipping the 6 Series chipsets again, but only to systems not affected by the problem.
What this effectively means is that any system using only the 6Gbps SATA ports on the 6 Series (or Cougar Point) chipsets will begin shipping again from today. The transistor issue only affected the 3Gbps SATA port which could see its performance diminish or potentially fail completely due to a slightly higher current leakage than tolerable. “Both Intel and its customers are focused on delivering the highest quality PC systems based on Intel 2nd Generation Core Processors. As a result of these discussions and specific requests from computer makers, Intel is resuming shipments of the Intel 6 Series Chipset for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue.”
Intel also said it had fixed the design problem with the Cougar Point chipset and has started manufacturing this new version. It expects to begin shipping the new parts in mid-February. The revelation of the problem with the transistor had led Intel to revise downwards its Q1 forecast by $300 million and this latest news has not changed that. The overall 2011 forecast also remains unchanged.