Intel has announced that it has identified a flaw in the design of Serial ATA ports on its newest 6 Series "Cougar Point" chipset, according to a press release. In some cases, this flaw causes ports to degrade over time, causing users to suffer from poor performance on any Serial ATA devices such as hard drives, DVD drives or BluRay drives. Only the newest second generation Core i5 and i7 series chips use the the 6 series chipsets.
Unfortunately, this flaw cannot be corrected in software. Intel has halted all current shipments of the flawed chipsets and is implementing what it is calling a "silicon fix". Intel is currently in the midst of manufacturing new chipsets containing the fix. It expects to start shipping the updated chipsets in late February. Recalls of already shipped models are largely expected, and as a result the company is expecting to take a $300 million hit to quarterly revenues.
Intel says they've only been shipping second-generation Core i-series chips and the related chipsets since January 9th, and doesn't think many people will be affected by this issue. For computer manufacturers and other Intel customers that have bought already affected chipsets or systems, Intel will work with partners to accept the return of the chipsets, and has plans to support the modifications and/or replacements required to correct the aforementioned issue.
Users of computers containing the 6 Series chipset can continue to use their computer with confidence whilst Intel works on a more permanent fix.