QuoteThe flaw, said to affect 5 to 15 percent of all Cougar Point motherboards, results in a performance degradation for storage devices connected to the motherboard's SATA II data inputs. Devices that use those inputs are typically either hard drives or optical disk drives. If the inputs were affected, connected drives would eventually slow down to the point of becoming unusable.
To protect a PC from experiencing that issue, a system vendor could simply use the newer, faster SATA III inputs. Most Cougar Point desktop motherboards we've seen have four SATA II ports and two SATA IIIs. Laptop boards tend to have fewer inputs, but it's not hard to imagine that in a closed laptop or all-in-one chassis a vendor could simply use the SATA III inputs for the hard drive and the optical drive and ship without risk.
QuoteThe company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April. Intel stands behind its products and is committed to product quality. For computer makers and other Intel customers that have bought potentially affected chipsets or systems, Intel will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems. The systems with the affected support chips have only been shipping since January 9th and the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue. The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems. Intel believes that consumers can continue to use their systems with confidence, while working with their computer manufacturer for a permanent solution. For further information consumers should contact Intel at http://www.intel.com on the support page or contact their OEM manufacturer.
QuoteAccess to Hollywood content is also baked into the chip--a technology called Intel Insider. "This will unlock premium high-definition content, like movies, to your PC," Kilroy said. "We've gone out and engaged with the studios. So, you'll see Warner Bros. and Fox at launch [of Sandy Bridge] and several other studios to come. They're eagerly embracing this platform as a distribution means for premium high-end content--as Internet content [offered] directly to the end user."
Kilroy continued. "What Intel Insider does is deliver HD digital distribution rights to the PC. This could be enabled through multiple content storefronts through OEMs (PC makers), retailers like Best Buy. Essentially, the PC now becomes an on-ramp for HD 1080p movies," he said.
And Intel has added security features to protect the content. "And we've built in security capability into this platform that will enable end-to-end hardware protection for the content. So, it will protect the premium content rights of the studios," according to Kilroy.