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INTEL TO REPLACE ONE MILLION DEFECTIVE MOTHERBOARDS.

Intel Corp. announced that it would replace an estimated one million motherboards that have a defective memory translator hub (MTH) component that translates signals from SDRAM memory to the Intel 820 Chipset.

The MTH is only used with motherboards utilizing SDRAM and the Intel 820 Chipset. The MTH began shipping in November 1999; therefore systems shipped before that time are unaffected by this issue.

Intel has identified system noise issues with the MTH that can cause some systems to intermittently reset, reboot and/or hang. In addition, the noise issue can, under extreme conditions, potentially cause data corruption. In some instances the company has been able to induce data corruption under synthetic stress testing in its laboratories.

Intel has not determined how many computers contain the potentially fatal combination of parts - Intel's 820 chip set and a type of memory known as synchronous dynamic random-access memory, or SDRAM. Nor has it determined precisely which PC makers bought the defective motherboards and configured them with SDRAM rather than the higher-speed Rambus-DRAM, or RDRAM, that is typically paired with the 820 chips. Intel estimates that the number of affected computers "could approach" one million.

"It's too early to know what it will cost," spokesman Michael Sullivan said. Sullivan said, adding that it could reach as high as "several hundred million dollars" and become "material" to Intel's financial performance, though the company has not changed the forecasts that guide Wall Street.

Several of the country's largest PC makers said recently that their products were unaffected by the Intel flaw - including IBM Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and Gateway Inc. - the nation's third largest manufacturer. Hewlett-Packard, is among the companies that sold computers containing the flaw.

Hewlett-Packard will offer customers free on-site memory upgrades for affected models of its Kayak line of high-performance business workstations, spokeswoman Roberta Silverstein said.

The manufacturer's more popular Brio and Vectra lines do not contain the suspect Intel part, nor do Kayak models that have RDRAM memory, she added. In addition to the affected Kayak XM600 SDRAM models, HP has halted shipments of its XU800 SDRAM models, which contain the Intel 840 chip set, pending further testing by HP and Intel.

Intel was able to confirm the defect, previously reported by a PC maker, in laboratory testing on May 1 and halted shipments of the affected motherboards and alerted its customers, Sullivan said.

PC users can determine for themselves if their computer contains the flawed component by downloading and running a utility program available from the Intel support Web site (http://www.intel.com/support/mth).
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Title Annotation:Product Information
Comment:INTEL TO REPLACE ONE MILLION DEFECTIVE MOTHERBOARDS.(Product Information)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2000
Words:426
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