Intel resumes Sandy Bridge shipments, bug fix nearly ready

Intel has announced that it is resuming some shipments of the Intel 6 Series Chipset, which was originally taken off the market last month due to a design defect.

Intel said that after discussing the problem with PC manufacturers, it decided to resume shipments of the chipset, but only for PC configurations that are not affected by the defect.

Intel reported the problem at the end of January, weeks after the launch of the greatly anticipated Sandy Bridge processors. The bug affects the SATA ports of the Sandy Bridge Cougar Point support chips, which can cause degradation over time and result in inferior performance.

The resumption of shipments could have a positive impact on Intel’s financial results, given the $700 million cost Intel predicted for the disaster, but Intel is being cautious and not further revising its outlook for the first quarter and full year.

Intel has also begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip, which contains a silicon fix that should address the defect. It plans to start shipping these in mid-February, on target for a complete replacement of the line by April.