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Intel Recalling Flawed New Chips

Jun 25, 2004 | AP

Less than a week after the launch, Intel Corp. said Friday it's recalling some of its latest chip sets after the discovery of a manufacturing flaw that could cause computers to crash or fail to boot.

Most of the problem chips were still in the hands of computer and motherboard manufacturers, said Bill Calder, an Intel spokesman.

"The good news is we think almost none of the impacted product or very little — has reached the end customer because we caught it early and have been working with our customers to replace all the lots with non-affected product," he said.

On Monday, Intel launched the chip sets, formerly code-named Grantsdale and Alderwood, touting them as "among the most significant PC platform changes in a decade," according to a news release issued at the time.

The 915 G/P and 925X chip sets, as they're officially called, coordinate communication between the computer's microprocessor and the rest of the system. The latest models integrate high-quality audio, video and a faster data highway.

Calder said the problem arose because a thin film applied to one of the chips during manufacturing was not removed. It was discovered by one of Intel's customers, though he did not know whether it was a PC or motherboard maker.

"We're working with them to replace the defective products," he said, adding that only some lots are affected by the flaw and Intel has a tracking system to identify where the problem chips were shipped.

Citing the "quiet period" before Intel's earnings, Calder also declined to specify how many units must be returned or the financial impact of the problem. Intel intends to publish its earnings release on July 13.

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