NVIDA Takes $200M Charge for Bad Graphics Chips

NVIDIA has taken a one-time charge of US$196M to cover the cost of replacing some bad graphics chips under warranty, according to Computerworld on Wednesday. The problem has affected computers from Hewlett-Packard, Dell and some from Apple.

The problem, previously reported, appears to be related to a substrate material in some graphics chips that malfunctions under heavy and cycling heat loads.

Weire not expecting more write-downs in the future," said NVIDIA chairman and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said during a conference call with financial analysts. "We think we have a pretty good handle on the situation. We thought we were relatively conservative, but weill see how it goes."

Both Hewlett-Packard and Dell reported that they had seem problems in their laptops. The problem is, apparently, limited to the G84x and G86xx series, and some MacBook Pros have also been affected.

Dell and H-P have released software updates that run the fan more often, even continuously, to avoid the heat stress on the graphics component.

Apple customers who buy a Mac have one year after the date of purchase to sign up for AppleCare -- which extends the warranty to three years.