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Intel Discovers Bug in 6-Series Chipset: Our Analysis ( Sandy Bridge Motherboards possible problem )
Anandtech ^ | 1/31/2011 12:43:00 PM | Anand Lal Shimpi

Posted on 01/31/2011 11:21:30 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

In our Sandy Bridge review I pointed out that Intel was unfortunately very conservative in one area of the platform: its chipset. Although the 6-series chipset finally brought native 6Gbps SATA to Intel platforms it failed to fix issues with 23.976 fps video playback. Intel also failed to deliver a chipset that can support SNB's processor graphics as well as overclocking. Today, things just got even more disappointing.

Intel just announced that it has identified a bug in the 6-series chipset, specifically in its SATA controller. Intel states that "In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives.".

(Excerpt) Read more at anandtech.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: hitech; intel; intelchipset

1 posted on 01/31/2011 11:21:38 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: ShadowAce

Unusual problem...recalls likely.


2 posted on 01/31/2011 11:22:44 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Whew! Good thing I’m on Westmere. SB is bringing 6 GBps to the SATA interface, but at what cost? My 1 TB WD disk runs great on SATA with AHCI enabled in the BIOS. It’s the “weakest link” in a system that otherwise runs 7.6 across the board according to Microsoft’s “Experience Index” in Win7.


3 posted on 01/31/2011 11:27:17 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sounds like an electomigration problem in the chipset.
This is not a cpu problem or a process problem.


4 posted on 01/31/2011 11:35:25 AM PST by Zathras
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To: Zathras

Sounds like you are in the business....?


5 posted on 01/31/2011 11:55:25 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Zathras

One possibility, but how could the premier chip company in the world not consider this? By this time, such migration is electronics 101.


6 posted on 01/31/2011 11:56:03 AM PST by SgtHooper (We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.)
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To: Zathras

what is ‘electromigration’ for us non-EEs ?


7 posted on 01/31/2011 11:58:51 AM PST by rahbert
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To: All
From Marketwatch:

Intel discloses chip error; AMD shares jump

**************************************EXCERPT*********************************************

By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Intel Corp. on Monday disclosed that there was a design error in a component of its new chip that will cost the company roughly $300 million in lost revenue.

The flaw involved a support chip used in the newly released second generation of Intel’s Core processor, the company said. Read “Intel’s new chip flaw a costly mistake.”

The announcement promptly sent shares of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!amd/quotes/nls/amd (AMD 7.73, +0.24, +3.20%)  rising more than 4% to $7.79 by early Monday afternoon.

8 posted on 01/31/2011 12:01:02 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Fix for implied link at post #8:

Intel’s new chip flaw a costly mistake

9 posted on 01/31/2011 12:05:08 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: All
More:

A billion-dollar mistake: Intel recalls a supporting chip for popular Sandy Bridge platform

10 posted on 01/31/2011 12:07:28 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Why I am not an “early adopter”.

Still, I have my eye on a i5-2500 for the spring.

11 posted on 01/31/2011 12:09:29 PM PST by PogySailor (The ruling class will not go down easily. And neither will their paid hacks.)
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To: ShadowAce; Swordmaker; SgtHooper
More detail from article linked at #10:

*********************************EXCERPT************************************

Intel said it discovered the flaw in the recently released support chip, code-named Cougar Point, and has had to redesign the silicon. That could mean a delay of 12 weeks (the typical time it takes to get a chip through a factory) in getting corrected chip sets to customers. Cougar Point had flaws in its Serial ATA (SATA) ports, which means that SATA-linked devices such as hard drives and DVD drives might not work properly over time. Cougar Point is a companion chip set for Sandy Bridge, which itself was not affected by any design problem.

12 posted on 01/31/2011 12:11:31 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: PogySailor

I want the new AMD stuff....I like the AMD migration path better.


13 posted on 01/31/2011 12:12:55 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: rahbert

FYI: electromigration
This is a condition where someone wired up the transistors on one or multiple signals with a metal width too narrow to handle the current load. I/O signals normally are high current and need special attention.

The electrons flowing actually can bump copper atoms around to a point where the circuit opens and thus fails. The problem is magnafied with uni-directional current flow.

Usually there are checks in the process to prevent this from happening but its not uncommon to miss it.


14 posted on 01/31/2011 12:15:22 PM PST by Zathras
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To: Zathras
Thanks, and it isn't just the non-electrical types that didn't understand.

Us big wire guys appreciate the explanation.

So, how is the great machine doing these days? :).

15 posted on 01/31/2011 12:29:55 PM PST by MrNeutron1962
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To: rahbert

Extremely small metal traces can give rise to microscopic-scale electric field strengths and current densities that are surprisingly large.

This makes the metal atoms actually migrate out of their original locations, and can even create shorts between adjacent conductors.

At the fine-scale geometries currently necessary, it doesn’t take a whole lot of metal or semi-metal atoms migrating to create a fault.


16 posted on 01/31/2011 12:30:42 PM PST by Erasmus (Personal goal: Have a bigger carbon footprint than Tony Robbins.)
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To: Zathras
Yeah, what you said.

≤}B^)

17 posted on 01/31/2011 12:32:22 PM PST by Erasmus (Personal goal: Have a bigger carbon footprint than Tony Robbins.)
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Reminds me of the problems with the first Pentium chips and the old joke...

Why did they name the chip the Pentium?

Because when they added 100 to 486 they got 585.99999999

Badump bum


18 posted on 01/31/2011 1:41:24 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"The announcement of the chip flaw—and the interruption in Sandy Bridge manufacturing—has has a significant impact on Intel’s financials: trading in the company’s stock was temporarily halted on the New York Stock Exchange prior to the announcement, and the investment community is less-than-pleased with a $700 million cost to implement the repair and replace effected systems already on the market, plus $300 million more in lost sales. From an investor’s point of view, that’s a billion dollars Intel had last week that’s gone today"

Intel reveals flaw in Sandy Bridge chipsets

19 posted on 01/31/2011 2:25:58 PM PST by epithermal
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To: Erasmus

Could also be Kirkendall voids, rather than simple electromigration. If so these would not be digital “design” flaws so much as old fashioned analog real-world problems in chemistry, metallurgy. thermodynamics and condensed matter physics. For those who believe that “technology” begins and ends with ones and zeros this might come as a shock. Best way to visualize it is like this: Let’s say you are hungry, really hungry. Let’s say you’d really, really like a ham sandwich. Let’s say you’re searching the internet on your extremely smart phone (the people who sold it to your are extremely smart, they make a lot of money off of you) for pictures and descriptions and recipes and restaruants and ingredients for ham sandwiches. Let’s say though that you don’t ever actually get to EAT that delicious ham sandwich until you actually put down the phone and go hunt yourself up a physical, *not a digital*, ham sandwich. Let’s say this works for vegan quinoia too, but not nearly so satisfyingly. Moral of the story: there is more inside your digits than inside your digital. Your cellphone is your cell and you didn’t even notice it happening.


20 posted on 01/31/2011 8:01:38 PM PST by Dr.Phull
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To: Dr.Phull

As William F. Buckley once said of a highly hypothetical argument, “If we had some bread, we could make a nice ham sandwich, if we had some ham.”


21 posted on 01/31/2011 8:13:39 PM PST by Erasmus (Personal goal: Have a bigger carbon footprint than Tony Robbins.)
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