updated 05:35 am EST, Tue February 1, 2011
Faulty transistor to blame for recall
The Intel Sandy Bridge flaw that is affecting the Cougar Point chipset variants has been pinpointed. A phone call between Intel's VP and Director of Intel Client PC Operations and Enabling, Steve Smith and Anand Lai Shimpi of Anandtech has revealed that this issue lies with a transistor in the 3Gbps PLL clocking tree. The transistor is leaking current, which can cause the 3Gbps SATA ports to lose performance or fail completely. The 6Gbps ports are unaffected by the issue as they have independent clocking trees.
The recall has affected all of Intel's H67 and P67 6-series desktop chipsets and will delay the shipment of desktops using the chipsets by around one month. The manufacturing glitch will also result in a $700 million hit to Intel's bottom line as it seeks to rectify the problem. Companies affected by the recall will include Apple, Dell and HP who all use full-power desktop versions of Intel's processors.