AMD Executive: Customers Turned To AMD After Intel Sandy Bridge Recall

An AMD executive reportedly says AMD's business has benefited significantly from Intel's Cougar Point design error and the subsequent delay of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.

Leslie Sobon, AMD vice president of product and platform marketing, on Wednesday said AMD's OEM and retail partners have ordered additional AMD products in order to meet the need Intel's recent recall of flawed Intel Series 6 Sandy Bridge support chipsets code-named Cougar Point has created.

"We have some customers and retailers who have come to us specifically as a result of Intel's chip problem," Sobon told Dow Jones Newswire.

Intel and AMD in January launched competing integrated graphics processor platforms, as AMD's Fusion family of APUs and Intel's second generation Core processors both offer CPU and GPU capabilities on a single-die.

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Contrary to Sobon's comments, system builders reacting to the resignation of two more AMD executives on Tuesday said AMD did not seem to be taking advantage of Intel's blunder. Some said the shakeup at AMD following CEO Dirk Meyer's resignation last month is an unnecessary distraction from the negative publicity surrounding Intel's Sandy Bridge launch.

However, Sobon said OEM customers have turned to currently available AMD products as a result of Intel's Sandy Bridge delay. "Some retailers have had to take things off their shelves, so they call us to ask what they could get from our OEMs that's similar," Sobon said. "And OEMs are asking us for product, as well."

Intel last week identified the error and began producing corrected chipsets. Several OEMs had to recall systems running Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, after many of them unveiled those systems at CES 2011, and some began selling them to end users.

HP immediately stopped manufacturing PCs with the Cougar Point chips, put a hold on shipments, and told its customers that they may return affected products in exchange for a comparable product or a refund. HP also delayed a press event for an enterprise-oriented HP notebook next week in San Francisco ahead of the official public unveiling on Feb. 23. Meanwhile, Dell, whose Alienware PC products include flawed Cougar Point chipsets said customers will receive support under the terms of their warranty and that they will provide motherboard replacements with the fixed chipsets once it's available. Other manufacturers issued similar assurances to their customers.

Next: Intel's Handling Of The Cougar Point Error

The design error in Intel's Cougar Point chipset causes SATA ports in some chipsets to degrade over time, affecting the performance of attached SATA hard disks and DVD drives in PCs using Intel’s latest second generation "Sandy Bridge" Core processors. Intel said that Cougar Point is more or less the only chipset that runs alongside Sandy Bridge as it gets integrated into PCs.

Intel last week estimated the cost of the Sandy Bridge recall at approximately $300 million of lost revenue in the first quarter, and that it will cost $700 million to fix and replace the defective chipsets. The resumption of Cougar Point shipments does not affect forecasts for the year, Intel said.

Intel this week resumed shipping Sandy Bridgeprocessors. Intel said it decided to lift the hold on shipments after extensive talks with its OEM partners on the subject. Intel says it's on schedule to begin offering the fixed chipset to customers in late February.