45nm Core 2 Quad launch delayed due to erratum?

Processor bugs, or errata, seem to be an epidemic lately. After AMD’s erratum number 298 found its way onto all quad-core Opterons and Phenoms, word is now going around that Intel has also found a bug in its upcoming 45nm Core 2 Quad processors, causing it to postpone the chips. French enthusiast site Hardware.fr has the skinny:

According to our sources, dual-core Penryn processors (code-named Wolfdale) will indeed launch in mid-January, but quad-core versions (code-named Yorkfield) won’t become available until late February/early March. Behind this delay lies a bug that, in some very rare cases, could cause a system to crash. Although the bug has only been detected in the lab through a new validation procedure, Intel has decided to fix it before the chips’ launch.

Hardware.fr goes on to say that Intel’s recently launched 45nm Core 2 Extreme QX9650—which is still up for sale—is also hit by the bug. However, quad-core 45nm Xeons reportedly aren’t affected.

We asked Intel to comment and received this response from the company’s PR manager, Dan Snyder:

45nm Core 2 Quad launch is planned for Q1’08, and we are still on track for that. We can’t comment on web speculation.

The late February/early March schedule mentioned by Hardware.fr is a far cry from the January 20 date that’s been quoted on other sites, but it still fits within Snyder’s Q1 2008 time frame. If Hardware.fr is right and the chips have indeed been postponed, though, that could give AMD enough time to prep for Intel’s 45nm assault by rolling out bug-free, B3 revision Phenoms and introducing models with higher clock speeds. (Thanks to TR reader Flying Fox for the tip.)

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