Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Intel Resumes Shipping That Troublesome Chip

Remember that troublesome support chip of Intel’s? The one that caused the schedules of some PC manufacturers to slip? Well, Intel is shipping it anyway.

It turns out that if you don’t use the part of the chip that has the problem, it works just fine. The problem is with the SATA port connections on the Cougar Point chipset. There are six such connections and only one is of which four are affected. (For the finer technical points about the design problem, read this post at AnandTech.)

In the days after Intel disclosed the design error on its Cougar Point chipset, PC makers called up to ask if they could continue to ship if they tweaked their designs in such a way that used only the SATA port connections on the Cougar Point chipset that worked. Intel said this was A-OK, and has restarted shipping the chips to those PC makers that have promised to make the necessary changes.

Meanwhile, Intel says it has started manufacturing a new version of the chips, and it should start shipping to new customers later this month

News of the flaw hurt Intel stock last week, mainly because of the potential for financial impact. Intel said it will reduce its revenue forecast for the first quarter by $300 million as it ends production of the old chip and gets volume of the new one ramped up, and that the full impact could reach $700 million for the fiscal year. However, today’s disclosure suggests that Intel may have initially outlined a worst-case scenario just in case. Still, it hasn’t changed its forecast for the quarter. Intel shares, however, are up in after-hours trading.

Update: I corrected this post because I got the number of affected SATA ports on the chip wrong. Sorry about that.

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