Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) recently began sending its next-gen core chip known as Haswell to computer manufacturers in hopes of seeing sales begin in the current quarter. However, the company confirmed there is an “errata” in an accompanying chipset. Nonetheless, Intel is pushing the chip forward and looking past the minor defect in expectation of excellent reviews.
Intel’s March announcement of Haswell-powered hybrid ”ultrabooks” gave its stock a minor bump, but interest in the company has subsided since the start of April. Haswell technology is expected to increase battery life in PC devices by a huge margin. Another key feature is the pairing with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Blue in tablet-laptop hybrids. Together, the technology promises to function like a laptop on the power requirements of a smartphone.
News of a bug in the chipset, of course, complicates the upcoming Haswell release. At a glance, the problem is nothing new for PCs: the USB plug often will not be recognized by the computer after it goes into “sleep” mode. The user will have to disconnect and reconnect devices like USB thumb drives in order for the computer to recognize them. While the existence of a bug is embarrassing for Intel so close to Haswell’s release, it working to resolve the issue quickly.
Fixed versions of the chipset will go out within 10 days and launch shortly after the first wave of Haswell products. A release by the company reminded consumers that the “errata” does not affect data in any way and that other USB peripherals will remain unaffected. Clearly, Intel does not believe the bug is a cause for major concern.
Nonetheless, it is safe to say that Intel is betting on a strong performance of its Haswell line, making any negative publicity unpleasant before the launch. Customers are likely to hesitate before purchasing a Haswell ultrabook, as so many bug-free options exist in the marketplace.
Greatly improved battery life and enhanced performance with Windows Blue will have to be overwhelming factors in consumer decisions. Otherwise, Intel’s big launch could make a considerably smaller impact.