Intel announces processor design issues

Today, chipmaker Intel announced that design issues have been found with its up-coming Sandy Bridge family of processors:

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.

The affected chips include second-generation quad-core Core i5 and i7 processors, believed to surface in future iMacs and MacBook Pros, and possibly even the Mac mini. Intel expects to have the fix in place and processors rolling out the door by the end of next month, with production ramping to full capacity by April.

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