Intel has today announced that its 6-series chipset, for use with the Sandy Bridge processors released earlier this year, has a serious flaw and that the company is recalling and replacing the affected parts. The chipsets, which provide PCI Express, USB, and other connectivity to the processor, have a problem in their SATA controllers causing performance to degrade over time.
In its statement, the company states that customers who have taken delivery of systems with the P67 and H67 "Cougar Point" chipsets can continue to use their systems "with confidence," suggesting that the flaw is restricted to a performance issue and cannot cause data loss. Nonetheless, such users should contact their computer manufacturers to obtain a fixed system.
The flawed chipsets are no longer shipping from Intel, and the company has already started manufacturing corrected versions. These will reach customers by the end of February. Full production volume won't be achieved until April. Intel estimates that the full financial cost of the error will be around $700 million, with $300 million of that incurred during the first quarter due to the production interruption. The company has adjusted its investor guidance accordingly.