HP Revaluating PCs Affected By Intel Chip Flaw

The design flaw in Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset has prompted HP to offer customers refunds or replacement PCs for affected models and to review its product launch schedule.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

February 2, 2011

2 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard says the recent discovery of a design flaw in the chipset that ships with Intel's latest Core processors has forced the company to reevaluate its PC product roadmap.

HP stopped short Wednesday of saying whether any of its products scheduled to use the Intel chipset, called Cougar Point, would be delayed. "We are evaluating our product roadmap in light of the industry issue," HP spokeswoman Marlene Somsak told InformationWeek.

Somsak confirmed that HP had postponed a news event scheduled for next week to demonstrate business notebooks to the media. Whether the market release of those products would be delayed is not clear. HP says no release date was ever given, while an earlier email announcing the event said the official unveiling of the products would be Feb. 23, according to financial news service Bloomberg.

HP acknowledged on Wednesday that the flawed chips were used in some consumer notebooks and desktops. One business desktop marketed to small businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was also affected. HP is no longer using the chip, so all currently shipping notebooks, desktops, workstations, and servers are unaffected, the company says.

"On 31 January 2011, HP stopped manufacturing products with the affected Intel technology and initiated a shipment hold on products in HP and channel inventory," the company said in a statement sent to InformationWeek.

Customers who bought a PC with the flawed chipset can return it to HP for a comparable product or refund.

HP is not the only computer maker affected by Intel's snafu, which is expected to cost the chipmaker $1 billion in lost revenue and in higher expenditures to fix the design flaw. Samsung Electronics is offering refunds on some PCs and NEC had delayed the release of four new models, according to Bloomberg. Dell sent a statement to media Tuesday saying that four of its PCs were affected, but did not say whether it would offer a refund or replacement.

Intel announced Monday that a design flaw in the chipset that ships with its second-generation Core processors, called Sandy Bridge, could cause the performance of a PC's hard disk drive and DVD drive to degrade over time. Intel says it shipped 8 million of the flawed chipsets, officially called the 6 Series. All the affected chipsets will be replaced.

Intel plans to begin delivering corrected versions of the chipset to computer and motherboard makers in late February, reaching a full production level in April.


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