Skip to main content

Intel reveals flaw in Sandy Bridge chipsets

Chipmaker Intel has revealed that its latest and greatest Sandy Bridge CPUs—the latest in its Intel Core line that it promoted triumphantly at CES—contain a design flaw. Intel has halted production of Sandy Bridge chips to implement a fix—all told, the solution will cost about $700 million, and Intel is scaling back its revenue forecast for the first quarter of $300 million due to reduced sales volume.

The design issue impacts Serial ATA (SATA) ports that the chipsets use to communicate with hard disk drives and other devices like DVD and Blu-ray drives; over time, the ports within the chipsets may degrade, impacting the performance of connected storage devices or preventing the chips from being able to connect to the devices at all. Intel says it has corrected the design issue and has already begun manufacturing a corrected version of the chipset; however, the company is quick to point out that the Sandy Bridge CPUs themselves—the heart of the system—are not impacted.

The faulty systems have been shipping to computer makers and other OEMs since January 9. Although relatively few consumers will be impacted by the issue, anyone who has purchased systems with Intel’s second-generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad-core systems should consider contacting the manufacturer or the system to see about repair or replacement. Intel doesn’t believe those systems are in any danger of immediate failure, but customers should work with the manufactures of their products to get a permanent solution.

The announcement of the chip flaw—and the interruption in Sandy Bridge manufacturing—has has a significant impact on Intel’s financials: trading in the company’s stock was temporarily halted on the New York Stock Exchange prior to the announcement, and the investment community is less-than-pleased with a $700 million cost to implement the repair and replace effected systems already on the market, plus $300 million more in lost sales. From an investor’s point of view, that’s a billion dollars Intel had last week that’s gone today.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Intel Core i5 vs. i7: Which CPU is right for you in 2023?
Intel Core i5-12400F box sitting in front of a gaming PC.

Intel's Core i5 and i7 CPUs continue to be the most popular choice in the realm of processors, and rightfully so. But understanding the distinctions between them is not a straightforward task. Similar to numerous other computer components, there are various models within each tier, which can potentially lead to a somewhat overwhelming selection process.

We're here to break down all the differences between Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, both on desktop and mobile. They're closer than they were in previous years, and rumor has it that the naming scheme will be replaced outright later this year. But for now, it's still an important comparison to wrap your mind around if you're in the market.
Intel Core i5 vs i7: what’s the difference?

Read more
These two CPUs are the only ones you should care about in 2023
An AMD Ryzen 7000 processor slotted into a motherboard.

If you're shopping for a CPU, you might feel tempted by the newer releases, meaning AMD's Ryzen 7000 and Intel's Raptor Lake. But you're often better off going against the current and picking one of the best processors in terms of value for the money instead of overpaying for something you don't need.

Both Intel and AMD have released plenty of noteworthy CPUs in the past years and months, but two models stand out from the crowd, and you might be surprised to hear that neither belongs to the latest generation — although one of them is as recent as it gets.
Value above all else

Read more
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D vs. Intel Core i9-13900K: only one choice for PC gamers
AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside of its packaging.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Intel Core i9-13900K are undoubtedly two of the best processors you can buy, but they aren't equal. We threw both of the CPUs on the test bench to answer the age-old question: is AMD or Intel better?

Based on our testing, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D wins this bout, mostly on the back of the excellent gaming performance AMD's 3D V-Cache technology brings. Intel's Core i9-13900K still holds up, particularly in productivity apps, but Team Red takes the win this time around.
Pricing and availability

Read more