Recall Corner: Intel Cougar Point chipset

sandybridge-desktop-chip2.jpgIt’s an obvious contender for Recall Corner – Intel’s “Cougar Point” chipset, used with “Sandy Bridge” Intel Core processors (pictured). Among the companies issuing recalls for affected products are Acer, MSI, HP, Toshiba and Samsung…

The systems sold to end-users are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad-core based systems.

The “chipset design error” affects Intel’s 6 Series Cougar Point chipsets, to be precise. The problem? An issue with the performance of SATA ports, potentially affecting HDD and optical drives.

You can read Intel’s account of the design issues. it begins:

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation 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 (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 chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel’s latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. 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.

Intel said it expected to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and “expects full volume recovery in April”. In an update, however, Intel now expects to begin shipping the new parts in mid February.

It will be working with OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, Intel says, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems.

The systems with the affected support chips been shipping since January 9th, it reported, adding that “the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue.”

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