Login to Account Create an Account
Controversial Taking the P*ss: Intel to Force Faulty Haswell CPUs on Hardware Partners
According to a "reliable source" who spoke to Hardware.Info and which the site confirmed by viewing a confidential document from one of their hardware partners, the initial silicon stepping of the fourth generation Core processor Haswell parts have a problem with their USB 3.0 implementation. For whatever reason, Intel is having a bit of a problem making it work properly with the initial batch of processors to be manufactured, but that isn't stopping them from forcing hardware partners to accept this issue before supplying them with any processors!
So, what are the consequences of this problem?
In the document, Intel purportedly informs manufacturers that a system with Haswell inside, when waking from S3 sleep mode, will experience issues with devices connected through USB 3.0. For example this would result in blank pages displaying in Acrobat Reader PDFs or video playback stopping, rather than continuing. A quick fix would be to restart the failing application.
Since there are allegedly no serious consequences such as data loss, Intel believes the first generation Haswells are good to go as planned, around the middle of the year, but expects to have this USB 3.0 issue fixed in future steppings. Still, requiring your hardware partners to accept this is a bit much, isn't it?
Hardware.Info asked Intel spokesman Kristof Sehmke for a reaction to this news, but quite predictably, he gave the long version of "no comment":
There's no word yet on whether Intel will be replacing the faulty processors with the fixed versions free of charge, like they have when issues like this have previously cropped up with their products. This being Intel, it wouldn't surprise me if they do the decent thing and replace the flawed parts. Well, at least if it stirs up some nice reputation-damaging controversy for them if they don't...
While we don’t comment on rumors about future products I can tell you that Intel remains on track for the first 4th generation Intel Core processors to come to market starting in mid-2013.
So, would you buy a CPU with a known flaw like this in it without a promise to replace it for free with a fixed version later? I wouldn't, no matter how innocuous it seems at first. What else is wrong with it that they haven't told us about?
Intel is taking the piss frankly and once again a situation like this comes about because Intel don't have competition from AMD any more in the high performance x86 market.