Intel is expecting to take a financial hit following the discovery of a design flaw in its latest Core PC chipsets.
The company said that a flaw in the Cougar Point support chip could lead to long-term performance issues with SATA devices such as hard drives and optical drives.
The issue does not affect the Sandy Bridge processor itself, and the company said that customers will be able to continue to operate affected systems while a fix is being developed and deployed.
Few of the flawed chipsets are actually believed to be in the hands of end users. Intel said that the issue is limited to Core i5 and Core i7 quad-core systems shipped after 9 January, and that it will use its OEM partners to get the fix out to customers.
Intel estimates that it will be able to begin releasing fixed chipsets by late February, and that manufacturing levels will return to normal by April.
In the meantime, Intel estimates that the issue will cost $300m (£186m) to fix over the current financial quarter, and up to $700m (£434m) by the end of the year. The company will also reduce its fourth quarter 2010 margins by four percentage points.
Intel also provided updates on two pending acquisitions. The firm has completed a $1.4bn (£868m) acquisition of Infineon Technologies AG Wireless Solutions, and believes that it will finalise its $8bn acquisition of security vendor McAfee by the end of March.
The McAfee deal was recently given the approval of anti-trust bodies in the EU.
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