Design Flaw Halts Intel Sandy Bridge Chip Production

Intel has temporarily suspended shipments of some its Core series processors because of a flaw that could lead to degraded SATA performance, or in some cases data transfer failures. A support chip in some Core i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge-based chip sets includes a transistor that leaks current and could cause SATA-based data transfer performance problems.

Intel fixing Core chip flaw

“In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives,” the company said in a statement. “The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel’s latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge.”

Intel said it already has a fix available for the flaw.

The number of computers impacted by the problem is relatively limited since the processors were introduced during the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. According to Intel, “The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems.”

The problem will, however, potentially delay products that are already in development.

Apple is on the list of companies that might have to delay new products while Intel ramps up production of fixed chips. If the company was planning on releasing new laptop models early this year, as some rumors claim, those launches could be delayed by a few weeks.