Intel Resumes Shipments of Faulty Cougar Point

Intel recently issued a statement announcing its plans to resume shipments of the motherboards and notebooks utilizing faulty 6-series Cougar Point chipsets. However there's a catch: the chipsets can only be used 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 to provides additional SATA ports.

"Both Intel and its customers are focused on delivering the highest quality PC systems based on Intel 2nd Generation Core Processors," Intel said in the statement. "As a result of these discussions and specific requests from computer makers, Intel is resuming shipments of the Intel 6 Series Chipset for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue."

Intel added that "'only computer makers who have committed to shipping the Intel 6-series chipset in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue will be receiving these shipments."

The news follows last week's full disclosure of the Cougar Point flaw. As stated by Intel, the 6 Series chipset (P67 and H67) has the potential to impact certain PC system configurations-- namely a problem related to the 3 Gbps SATA ports 2 to 5 (0 and 1 are unaffected) and the "Cougar Point" SATA controller. Intel said that the affected SATA ports within the chipsets may degrade over time. MSI indicated that it could well be over a period of three years.

Tuesday Intel spokesperson Dan Snyder said that OEMs will not be allowed to ship PCs with connectors interfacing the faulty Cougar Point part. This will prevent consumers from connecting hard drives or optical drives purposely or inadvertently.

Currently Intel is working on a new version of the chipset and will be received by manufacturers sometime around the end of February. Sandy Bridge motherboard shipments are expected to return to normal in April. In the meantime, Intel said that it will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the current affected chipsets. It also plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems.

PC manufacturers who have already sold desktops and laptops sporting the faulty Cougar Point chipsets are currently offering replacements as soon as the revised chipsets arrive. The companies--spanning from Asus to HP-- are also offering full refunds for customers who aren't satisfied with the replacements.

  • mikem_90
    Still will create air in the pipes, more room for AMD to move in a bit.

    It will be interesting to see if AMD sales go up a bit more because of it.
  • amk09
    hey unlock the additional pci-e lanes and allow quad-channel ram for when we upgrade to ivy bridge
  • dan55
    Like many people have posted, they should just keep selling them, even for custom builders, and let them know about the issue. They say it could take up to 3 years to start having considerable issues, which is a long time in terms of computers. And if your ports go down, and you have a RAID, make sure your data is backed up, and get a card, not a huge deal. You just have to think a little bit when it comes to these.

    By the way, loving my i7-2600k OC'd to 4 GHz and Asus P8P67 Deluxe board, they kick some serious ass. Wouldn't even consider anything older than LGA 1155.
  • nforce4max
    oh mighty greedtell isn't going to let a few bad chips get them down. Oh well most people still use older sata 3gb/s based devices.
  • illo
    nforce4maxoh mighty greedtell isn't going to let a few bad chips get them down. Oh well most people still use older sata 3gb/s based devices.
    how many of them use more than 2?

  • dogman_1234
    I smell a lawsuit.
  • pelov
    You forgot to mention that Will.I.Am will personally come to your house and fix the 6gb sata for you.
  • xantek24
    Intel is going to lock the affected sata ports so motherboard vendors can use their "EXTREME SATA PORT UNLOCKER!!!" bios gimmick....
  • applegetsmelaid
    Intel's equivalent to Microsoft's Vista. AMD - time to start the bashing campaign now like Apple did and you might just capitalize the market!
  • illo: Well in the future(circa 2010), almost everyone will have atleast 2 sata devices in any new Sandy Bridge computer(optical and HDD), and a substantial number will have either a:

    1. 2nd HDD
    2. SSD for their boot drive, or
    3. 2nd Optical Drive
    4. E-sata device using one of the 3g sata ports

    IDE devices have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur, it's all sata now. So to answer your question, probably atleast half, and as much as 90%.