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Intel today announced that it has discovered a "design error" in its "Cougar Point" support chip that is part of its implementation of the Sandy Bridge architecture for desktop machines, chipsets that are expected to make their way into the next-generation iMac.
As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation 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 PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel 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 issue, which affects systems utilizing Intel's second-generation quad-core Core i5 and i7 processors, has pushed back production to a projected late February date for the first shipments and an April date for full recovery. Intel is estimating the entire cost of repair and replacements associated with the issue to be around $700 million.

Apple's current 27-inch iMac utilizes the first-generation versions of these Core i5 and i7 processors in high-end configurations, and the company is expected to adopt some of these second-generation versions in an update to the line. The iMac was last updated in late July and is approaching the end of its usual update cycle. The issue cited by Intel in today's release does not affect notebook chipsets such as those expected to be used in a Sandy Bridge update to Apple's MacBook Pro line, which is also due for an update.

Article Link: Intel Announces Setback in Production of Chipsets Destined for iMac Revision
 

ECUpirate44

macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
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A rare setback for Intel. They are usually rock solid with their timetable. At least they are taking the time to be sure they have the design right.
 
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AAPLGeek

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2009
341
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Anandtech mentions this also affects upcoming MacBook Pros.

Wait Longer for those MacBook Pros

Have you noticed a lack of dual-core Sandy Bridge based notebooks on the market? Intel wanted to but couldn’t launch every last SNB SKU at the same time, so the dual-core notebooks got pushed out until mid-to-late February. Unfortunately, that was pre-bug. With this latest delay you shouldn’t expect dual-core SNB notebooks until a few weeks after their original launch date, at the earliest.

If we assume fixed chipsets are available in the last week of February, they can be put into systems the first week of March. Then expect at least a week of testing and validation if not more. Add another week to ramp up production and we’re looking at late March or early April for dual-core SNB notebooks. Those of you waiting on Apple’s updated MacBook Pros fall into this category. I’d say April is a safe bet if you’re waiting on an upgrade.


Intel Discovers Bug in 6-Series Chipset: Our Analysis
 
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c0052350

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2003
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According to Anandtech

According to Anadtech MBP and all Dual core SB notebooks will be affected due to the knock on effect
 
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oOoDeXoNoOo

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2010
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There will be a snowball effect of course but does Apple actually use standard Intel chipsets?
 
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Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
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I wonder if they will announce the update with the iPad2 unveil and just delay the purchase date.

The rumor of a "new, smaller screen iMac priced for the mainstream market" has tweaked me for a couple months. Was that a smaller inch screen with same res. or a smaller screen/lower res. or even a very trimmed down iMac for "normal people" on tight budgets? What is revealed will be interesting.
 
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funkyT80

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2010
39
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A rare setback for Intel. They are usually rock solid with their timetable. At least they are taking the time to be sure they have the design right.

Well, doing a massive $700M recall usually isn't seen as taking the time to get it right :), quite the opposite. As an investor in Intel, and someone who has been waiting to buy a new 27in iMac, I'm pretty frustrated.
 
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Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
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Tailpike1153

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2004
628
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Bellevue, WA
Well, doing a massive $700M recall usually isn't seen as taking the time to get it right :), quite the opposite. As an investor in Intel, and someone who has been waiting to buy a new 27in iMac, I'm pretty frustrated.

Rather a company own up to a mistake now before it gets to end consumers. That being said, he SuperDrive in the 2007 aluminum died last week. I with you. I want a new iMac.:(
 
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