Intel recently announced that they will suspend chipset shipment of their 2nd generation Core processor codenamed Sandy Bridge due to a design flaw on a support chip called the Intel Series 6, also known as Cougar Point. The flaw affects only the support chip and not the Intel Core processors themselves.
What’s the role of Cougar Point? One task of this support chip is to control the SATA ports. With the design flaw, it could cause SATA ports within the chipset to degrade over time which could affect the performance of hard drives and optical disk drives. Intel says the problem might likely occur in three years time.
Intel started shipping their Sandy Bridge chipsets to manufacturers in January 9 and they already informed computer makers to halt building and selling PCs with the new processors until March. Production of corrected chipset is already underway and Intel plans to begin delivering these late February. Full volume recovery of chipset shipments won’t occur until April.
According to Intel, people who bought systems running the 2nd generation quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors would be affected. They are working with OEM partners to accept the replacements needed on motherboards and systems.[InformationWeek]