Intel dates Cougar Point B3 shipments

Intel has fast-tracked production of its replacement Cougar Point chipset for Sandy Bridge, issuing a Product Change Notification today that suggests the fixed B3 revision will start to ship from the 14th of February.

The news can't come soon enough for OEMs developing products based around the affected Sandy Bridge platform, who were dismayed to discover that Intel had made a design error in its Cougar Point product that lead to SATA ports failing over time.

Demand for the Cougar Point chipset has been so high that Intel has risked public disdain by continuing to ship the faulty B2 revision, on the proviso that manufacturers add in their own SATA controller to bypass the flaw.

With motherboard, laptop, and PC manufacturers announcing return programmes, many customers are waiting with bated breath to find out when they'll be able to get their hands on a repaired version of their devices - and it looks like we finally have an answer.

According to Intel's PCN, issued to its OEM partners today, the B3 revision of Cougar Point - which is a drop-in replacement for the faulty part - will start to ship from the 14th of this month. As well as 'minor metal layer changes' designed to fix the SATA port problem, the new revision also includes a minor BIOS update to version 1.1.4.

The Cougar Point B3 revision will be used on all future products based around Intel's Q67, H67, H61, P67, Q65, QM67, HM67, HM65, B65, UM67, QS67, Z68, C206, C204, and C202 platforms - fixing the flaw, but at a cost to the company of an esimated $900 million.