An interesting twist in the continuing saga of Intel’s “broken chipset” occurred over the last couple of days.  First, Intel published a press release basically saying that they were going to allow shipments of their current chipset, still with the flaw, to certain manufacturers that agreed to implement certain work-arounds. 

Intel subsequently initiated extensive discussions with computer makers about this topic. Both Intel and its customers are focused on delivering the highest quality PC systems based on Intel® 2nd Generation Core® Processors. As a result of these discussions and specific requests from computer makers, Intel is resuming shipments of the Intel® 6 Series Chipset for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue.

Only computer makers who have committed to shipping the Intel® 6 Series Chipset in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue will be receiving these shipments.

This resumption of shipments of the Intel® 6 Series Chipset is not changing the company’s updated first quarter 2011 and full-year financial Outlook published on January 31st.

In parallel, Intel has started manufacturing on a new version of this support chip. Intel now expects to begin shipping the new parts in mid February.

Those that are “not affected” by the design issue can really only be a couple of configurations – either you don’t use ANY SATA channels or you are in a mobile form factor that only has one or two SATA connections available on the board and thus can use the SATA 6.0 Gb/s channels that do not have this flaw.  This could also mean that system builders that want to include a discrete SATA card to replace the affected motherboard-integrated can ship product, though I would be surprised to see anyone will do that with open connections available for unknowing customers to plug things into. 

Also today, PC World is indicating that shipments of the dual-core variants of the Sandy Bridge processor will begin on February 20th – less than two weeks away.  If true, this could really help Intel dissipate any nagging income issues resulting from the chipset error mentioned above.  I am curious if these same CPUs are being sent hand in hand with the current, potentially flawed, Cougar Point chipset for upcoming notebooks that are less likely to see the issue revealed. 

Intel shipping dual-core Sandy Bridge and current chipset - Processors 2
This…minus two cores.

In other news, AMD is apparently growing some cohones in the advertising front by issuing ads that state: “Ready. Willing. And Stable.”  Nice.