Intel Australia plays down chip flaw

Intel is playing down the impact of the company's decision to recall its 915GP and 925GX chipsets following the discovery late last week of a flaw affecting desktop PCs.The company said it was in the process of contacting its direct customers to notify them of possible customer complaints.

Intel is playing down the impact of the company's decision to recall its 915GP and 925GX chipsets following the discovery late last week of a flaw affecting desktop PCs.

The company said it was in the process of contacting its direct customers to notify them of possible customer complaints. However, Intel Australia spokesman Daniel Anderson said it's unlikely that many end users will be affected by the faulty chipsets.

"Globally, the impact will be almost none or possibly a few thousand [faulty chipsets] may have reached end customers and even then they may not exhibit the problem," Anderson said.

The flaw was detected in certain "lots" of the chipsets, said the spokesman, adding that not all of the "lots" would have been distributed to end users and not every chipset in the lot would be faulty.

Intel said it is now in the process of contacting its "direct customers", which include those who manufacture PCs using the chipsets and value-added resellers.

Anderson said that "there are certainly manufacturers using the product in Australia", however he declined to name any specific vendors.

The flaw affects the ICH6 input and output devices of the chipsets -- code-named Grantdale and Alderwood -- caused by an incomplete removal of a protective film covering used on a component used in the chipset.

Intel said that faulty chipsets may cause a PC to fail to start, system hangs (or freezes) and other abnormal system behaviour in affected PCs.

Marketed by Intel as the "glue" connecting its processors to the rest of the PC, the chipsets became commercially available on 21 June and were officially launched in Australia the following day.

Anderson declined to answer any questions regarding the amount of units to be recalled or the flaws' possible effect on sales as the company is in a "quiet period" at the moment leading up to its public earning declaration on the 13th of July.

However, Anderson stated that units that are currently being shipped "have already been fixed".

"We run the most complex high-volume manufacturing of product in the world," said Anderson. "And since the problem was discovered we are trying to be as upfront with manufacturers as we can."

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