"We're in the process of testing and validating a new version," Intel spokesman Dan Francisco said this week.
Once the new component is available, Intel plans to resume making the 820 again available for use with standard memory. The 820 chipset was designed for use with high-speed Rambus-based memory and has continued to ship in that configuration.
While a crush in demand for the 820 with standard memory is unlikely, getting a working MTH is important because Intel is counting on a similar hub for Timna, a new low-end processor set to debut later this year. Timna, a chip that integrates graphics and memory controller functions, was originally designed for Rambus-based memory.
By integrating the graphics functions and memory controller on the same piece of silicon as the processor, Intel can reduce the overall material cost for PC makers. Currently, these two functions are handled in the chipset.
But with the price of Rambus memory far too high for a low-cost PC, Intel decided to combine the chip with standard memory using an MTH.
Even with the added MTH component, Timna should be somewhat cheaper than a traditional low-end system using an Intel Celeron processor.
The 600-MHz Timna, for instance, is expected to cost $7 to $10 less than if PC makers use a 600-MHz Celeron with a chipset containing integrated graphics.
Such a discount could reduce the retail price of PCs by $30, noted one analyst.
Intel still does not have an estimate as to how much the MTH problem will cost, Francisco said. Last week, Intel reduced its first-quarter earnings by 1 cent per share to cover sales that were reversed and inventories of the defective product. A further charge for the cost of the replacement is expected.