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Intel Shipping Revised Cougar Point Next Week

As if to keep the splash damage to a minimum, Intel has shifted into high gear by announcing its intent to ship the B3 stepping of Cougar Point chipsets (Q67, P67, H67, and so on) to OEMs on February 14. The news arrives in a product change notification (pdf) dated on February 9, 2011 (#110456-00) and follows the company's previous promise to expedite the fix as quickly as possible.

According to the document, the changes and features are as follows:

  • Revision ID will change from 04h to 05h
  • BIOS Update (Revision 1.1.4 of the BIOS Specification Update and Reference Code)
  • B3 stepping package is pin compatible with B2 stepping package
  • Minor metal layer change from B2 to B3 improving lifetime wear out with no changes to functionality or design specifications

"Minimal re-qualification and/or validation is expected for features already supported on B2 stepping," Intel said. "B3 stepping has only a minor metal layer change that has no functional or SATA interface electrical changes. Customers should be ready to receive the new material by the “Date Customer Must be Ready to Receive Post-Conversion Material” above. Please contact your local Intel representative for further technical questions."

Originally the Cougar Point revision was slated to hit OEMs by the end of the month. However pressures from manufacturers and AMD may have driven the company to bring a solution sooner than expected. Earlier this week Leslie Sobon, AMD vice president of product and platform marketing, said that Intel's Sandy Bridge platform problem was sending additional business their way.

"We have some customers and retailers who have come to us specifically as a result of Intel's chip problem," Sobon said. "Some retailers have had to take things off their shelves, so they call us to ask what they could get from our OEMs that's similar. And OEMs are asking us for product, as well."

Also earlier this week, Intel said that it would continue to ship the defective Cougar Point chipsets for limited uses. The chipsets can only be applied in systems that won't be affected by the design flaw, namely "closed" notebook configurations and desktops with a SATA PCI-Express card pre-installed that provides additional SATA ports.

  • dranicus
    The frying pan is scorching
    Reply
  • Inferno1217
    That was much faster than I expected. Closing the door on AMD's chance to capitalize on this mistake. Still can't wait to see what real world performance Bulldozer brings to the market.
    Reply
  • "Some retailers have had to take things off their shelves, so they call us to ask what they could get from our OEMs that's similar. And OEMs are asking us for product, as well"

    I read that and I just keep thinking that AMD doesnt make anything similar to sandybridge.
    Reply
  • bp_
    now let's see how long until MBs are available again
    Reply
  • Onus
    This says nothing about quantities that will actually be available. This could be a "paper fix" just to slow the bleeding to AMD. For most people and many tasks, Intel's performance superiority just doesn't matter. Side by side, Intel wins hands down, but if AMD is the only game in town, buyers are still getting something decent.
    But, what happened to 1156? Did it simply dry up, because that's also a perfectly valid choice, and still performs better than AMD.
    Reply
  • FrozenGpu
    Then April will be when I can buy a sandy bridge setup?
    Reply
  • touchdowntexas13
    jtt283This says nothing about quantities that will actually be available. This could be a "paper fix" just to slow the bleeding to AMD. For most people and many tasks, Intel's performance superiority just doesn't matter. Side by side, Intel wins hands down, but if AMD is the only game in town, buyers are still getting something decent.But, what happened to 1156? Did it simply dry up, because that's also a perfectly valid choice, and still performs better than AMD.
    Agree. AMD doesn't have anything out right now that is on par with sandy bridge (at least just when you consider performance). I don't see how this is boosting AMD sales when socket 1156 still has a very slight edge over existing AMD platforms. Maybe this flaw in the intel processors hurt their image more than I thought. Maybe customers don't think they are as reliable. Who knows...

    I would definitely wait before building a computer though. I would definitely wait for sandy bridge to get back in stores, and if you can hold off long enough, maybe even wait for bulldozer.
    Reply
  • zerapio
    touchdowntexas13Agree. AMD doesn't have anything out right now that is on par with sandy bridge (at least just when you consider performance). I don't see how this is boosting AMD sales when socket 1156 still has a very slight edge over existing AMD platforms. Maybe this flaw in the intel processors hurt their image more than I thought. Maybe customers don't think they are as reliable. Who knows...I would definitely wait before building a computer though. I would definitely wait for sandy bridge to get back in stores, and if you can hold off long enough, maybe even wait for bulldozer.Or maybe AMD is bluffing. This is an excellent PR opportunity for them. I'd take their comments about increased business with a grain of salt.

    When the financial statements come out for Q1 we'll see how much of an impact this issue really had on both companies.jtt283This says nothing about quantities that will actually be available. This could be a "paper fix" just to slow the bleeding to AMD.Come on, really? This is a chip that was already produced in volume. It sounds like production was halted, the mask was fixed and hit resume. They probably reused the samples before the faulty step.
    Reply
  • joelmartinez
    Wonder if it OC better, probably not but a 5.6ghz on water 24/7 would be awesome 6ghz even better
    Reply
  • Immoral Medic
    Kudos to Intel for quick fix. Now I can indeed buy a new sandy bridge system for my birthday next month ^^
    Reply