Faulty Intel 810 chips have accidentally been shipped to customers, the company indicated last week.
Intel has told its customers how to test for the faulty chips and promised to replace them.
An Intel spokesman told PC Week: "There was recently what we call a test escape issue. As soon as we identified this, we notified our customers and did an immediate product recall; this is an ongoing process."
Early systems based on the 810 chipset have only recently begun shipping, and some manufacturers have not yet begun mass production.
These stray chips cannot display the high-screen resolutions required for SVGA graphics by the chipset's integrated graphics subysystem and might also fail to boot up entirely.
This should not cause any major production problems, but it is a further embarrassment for Intel, following the accidental release of production-test mobile Pentium II chips earlier this year.
A small number of these were released that contained a unique serial number feature that had been intended only for PIII machines. This provoked much criticism from online privacy campaigners.
The spokesman also confirmed that a flaw in the shipping version of the chipset could cause the real-time clock to return an incorrect value.
"We have worked with our customers and produced a workaround for this erratum," he said. "It will be fixed in the next revision of the silicon."
An inside source at a major PC manufacturer, who requested anonymity before agreeing to speak, told PC Week: "We haven't begun production of machines based on the chipset yet. Intel has told us that there is some sort of problem, and obviously we want to make sure it is sorted before we roll out."
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