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Intel chip flaw whacks Best Buy rollout

Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset flaw is putting the kibosh on Best Buy's new PC rollouts, as the ripples caused by the flaw spread.

Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset flaw is bringing some Best Buy new product rollouts to a screeching halt, according to representatives contacted at Best Buy stores.

A Dell system had featured Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i5 2300.
A Dell system had featured Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i5 2300.

Intel said Monday that it had stopped shipments of the chipset that accompanies its second-generation Intel Core ("Sandy Bridge") processor owing to a flaw that can affect access to a hard-disk drive, optical drive, or other device that connects to a computer using SATA technology.

As a result, PC makers including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Toshiba have pulled systems from online sales as well as suspending sales at retailers like Best Buy.

Though there were relatively few Sandy Bridge-based systems for sale at Best Buy before Intel's disclosure on Monday, a slew of systems were expected, according to sales representatives contacted at Best Buy stores in California. A Best Buy in Silicon Valley was expecting three laptops and four desktops, according to a representative contacted by phone. Another representative, in a suburban Los Angeles Best Buy, said that "a lot" of systems had been slated for sale but had been "caught" before they came to the store.

And advertisements for Sandy Bridge-based systems are already in the pipeline and will have to be corrected after the fact, according to another salesperson at that store.

Toshiba's rollout--now suspended--of Sandy Bridge laptops shows what just one PC maker has pulled from the sales channel. Toshiba's Satellite A665--SKUs S5182, S5183, S5184, S5185, S5187--have been suspended. The Satellite A665 3D Edition (model 3DV12) and Qosmio X505, SKUs Q8102, Q8104 have also been held for now.

Officially launched at this year's CES, Sandy Bridge is the first mainstream chip to integrate graphics silicon directly onto the processor. It is also the first chip line based fully on Intel's leading-edge 32-nanometer manufacturing process. These two features allow Intel to offer a power-efficient processor with improved multimedia and gaming capabilities.