Given the fact that its position, namely that of the world's largest chip manufacturers, forces Intel to follow a very transparent code of conduct on the market, the company has just openly admitted the fact that one of its latest chipsets, the 6 Series “Cougar Point”, meant to work with Sandy Bridge CPUs, has a native design flaw, that might impede functionality to a certain extent, but also revealed the fact that chips not featuring the respective flow are being manufactured as we speak.
So, as the company reveals, the flaw discovered within the Intel 6 Series chips might have led to Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets starting to degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drive, but not affecting the Sandy Bridge CPUs in any way.
Given this unwanted situation, the company immediately stopped shipping the respective chips, while also starting to manufacturer a new version of this support chip, not featuring the aforementioned design flaw.
Given the nature of this problem, Intel has also promised that it will “work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems.”
Luckily, it seems that the respective flaw only affected support chips shipping since January 9th, and the only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems.
It's yet unknown just how many systems and end-customers are already affected by this problem, but regardless of their number, it's quite commendable that Intel has decided to make things right and cut its losses right from the start (and we're pretty sure that the whole replacement process will cost the company quite a serious amount of money).