Manufacturers panic on Sandy Bridge

Following the announcement that many Sandy Bridge chipsets have been shipped with defects, Intel has successfully managed to create disarray among manufacturers, with Paul Otellini’s remarks that the new platform is the “best product ever” looking rather wide of the mark at the moment.

Samsung recently announced that it would be offering a full refund to customers who had purchased a PC with Sandy Bridge, a major embarrassment for the product which was launched to much pomp and fanfare earlier this year as Intel’s Second Generation core.

“There are six PC line-ups released in Korea and one in the US, and we plan to fully refund or exchange the product in question,” James Chung, Samsung’s spokesman said.

“No financial impact on our business is likely as the total payment will be funded by Intel.”

Now it seems that other firms are attempting to position themselves following what has been a monumental cock-up by the chip giant.

Gigabyte has just announced that it has also been affected by the announcement from Intel,  and will now be working closely with Chipzilla to “minimise inconvenience to customers and retail stores”.

Gigabyte expects that Intel will implement “full 6 series chipset volume recovery in April, 2011,” before delivering “new motherboards with the updated Intel 6 series chipset when the new chipsets become available.”

TechEye  has also spoken to Dell, and has been told that while the PC manufacturer is still deciding on how it will respond, it would be working to ensure “all issues would be resolved” for customers who had purchased products with Sandy Bridge processors.

Furthermore TechEye requested comment from PC World but has not as yet received any information on the vendor’s stance.

The design flaw means that a new chipset is now needed, with an expected cost to the firm of $1 billion, and will likely mean that there will be substantial delays with the release of computers using the new processors.

Indeed the desktop PC market, which has seen a slowdown of late, will not welcome such a massive mistake by the firm which has said that five percent of the eight million Sandy Bridge processors could be affected in the next three years if they are not fixed.

Intel’s statement highlighted the fact that it has already begun working on replacing the hardware.

“Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue,” the statement read.

“The company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April. Intel stands behind its products and is committed to product quality.”

However there is no running away from the fact that this is a real cock-up.

“This is the biggest launch of the year for us, but it’s beyond that,” Otellini said. “This is not only the best product we’ve ever built — it’s the most exciting product we’ve ever built.”

While Otellini would have hoped that the impressive Sandy Bridge Platform would still be generating headline news at the start of February, there is little doubt this is not the way that he imagined them.