Intel (http://www.intel.com) has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. 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 chipset is utilized in computers with Intel’s latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge is expected to start popping up in Macs soon.
Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. The company says it has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue.
The company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April. For the first quarter of 2011, Intel expects this issue to reduce revenue by approximately US$300 million as the company discontinues production of the current version of the chipset and begins manufacturing the new version.