Lenovo, HP, Dell, MSI and Samsung have suspended production of systems running Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and offered to compensate customers affected by the Cougar Point design flaw.
End users who purchased any of the half-million systems that have been affected out of the eight million Intel series 6 Cougar Point chipsets that Intel says have shipped since Jan. 9 will receive refunds and replacement parts from Intel's OEM customers. How that affects the relationship between Intel and those manufacturers -- whose high-voltage and temperature tests identified the error -- remains uncertain.
Lenovo on Thursday said the Sandy Bridge situation has not changed its partnership with Intel, but added that it expects Intel to hold up its end of the deal as customers call for compensation.
"Intel is one of our most valued technology partners and we expect that partnership to be as strong as ever," a spokesperson for Lenovo told CRN. "We are in conversations with Intel about the service program and offering refunds and we expect the conclusion of that to be for our partner to do the right thing here."
Lenovo said it has established a new customer service program in response to the recall, and subsequent delay, of Sandy Bridge-based products. The program will provide a free system board replacement to customers that purchased PCs, as soon as those parts become available.
Lenovo said it wants to reassure customers that the issue will not affect their data, and likely won't affect their system boards, since Intel estimates the failure rate for Cougar Point is under 5 percent. Among the systems that have been affected are the IdeaPad and IdeaCentre consumer-oriented PCs that Lenovo unveiled at CES 2011. Potentially affected IdeaPad notebook models include the Y460P, Y560P, Z570, G470, G570, V370, V470, V570, B470, and B570, along with IdeaCentre K330, K330A, and B520 desktops.
"Lenovo is working with Intel on the technical details and we will have further updates as appropriate," the Lenovo spokesperson said. "If any customer is not satisfied with the system board replacement program, we will work with our customers to find an alternative remedy, including a full refund at point-of-sale."
The Sandy Bridge recall also caused HP on Wednesday to cancel an event in San Francisco scheduled for next week, at which HP had planned to launch several enterprise notebook PCs featuring the older, dual-core Cougar Point chipset supporting the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics processors.
Next: Dell Reaches Out To Affected Customers