Intel recalls Sandy Bridge chipset over SATA flaw

Intel has announced that it's made a bit of a balls-up with the Cougar Point chipset for its latest Sandy Bridge processors - so much so, in fact, that it's having to issue a recall.

The chip maker has just announced that its Cougar Point 6-series chipsets, used on boards that support the company's latest Sandy Bridge family Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, contains a rather serious glitch affecting the SATA ports.

Over time, the company has confirmed, the ports will degrade - resulting in all SATA-connected storage devices, including optical drives, hard drives, and solid-state storage drives becoming increasingly slower until they fail to work completely.

In order to save its reputation, the company has ceased shipments of the affected chipset and is to begin a process of recalling them from OEMs, retail channels, and eventually end-users. The overall process is estimated to be costing the company $700 million, and drops first quarter sales forecasts for its chips by a whopping $300 million.

While the New York Stock Exchange halted trading in Intel shares during the announcement, panic trading in the minutes following resulted in a 1 per cent drop - a fairly quiet reaction from stockholders, all things considered.

The design flaw in the Cougar Point chipset has already been addressed, the company has confirmed, and the new revision should appear towards the end of next month.