Trouble hits Intel’s Sandy Bridge

Intel’s Sandy Bridge chip was perhaps the most impressive thing at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but the rollout of the next generations processors has hit a stumbling block. Sandy Bridge

Intel today announced it had discovered a flaw in a support chip that works with next generation – or so-called Sandy Bridge – processors, and has suspended shipments and will be replacing those that have already shipped with the affected support chip.

To be clear: There’s nothing wrong with Sandy Bridge itself, which includes the ballyhooed “Intel Insider” technology that provides such sufficient security that major studios (including Warner Bros.) will begin releasing high-definition versions of films online in conjunction with DVD and Blu-ray releases. But it’s still a disappointing setback for the company that will cost it up to $1 billion in lost revenue and repair/replacement costs.

The problem was the support chip, code-named Cougar Point, had flaws in its Serial ATA (SATA) ports. Ultimately, that could have meant that SATA devices, such as hard drives and DVD drives, might not have work properly.

Intel expects to have an updated version of the chip ready to go in late February, but it will be April before it sees a full recovery of production volumes.