Intel’s Haswell ships with a bug

Intel’s “Haswell” chip is now shipping to major PC makers, despite the fact that it has a bug which causes your USB drive to disappear.

A secret source told CNet that Intel’s fourth-generation core, aka Haswell, is “shipping to customers now and will launch later this quarter”. It will announce the official shipping at the IDF in Beijing this week.

Haswell was expected by June and is targeted at ultrabooks and hybrids. Intel insists that Haswell’s new microarchitecture will deliver “the single largest generation-to-generation battery life improvement in Intel history”.

We are also expecting an announcement that Intel will have its next-generation Atom chip for smartphones, “Merrifield,” shipping by the end of the year about the same time as “Bay Trail” which is its next-gen Atom chip for tablets.

But according to a note that Intel sent to hacks, it appears that the Haswell launch will be marred by a technical problem with the chipset. Some chipsets with the bug, will be “in production” during the initial ramp.

Intel has confirmed that there is no chance of data loss or corruption because of the bug, and it has only been noticed with a small subset of USB SuperSpeed thumb drives and does not affect other USB peripherals.

The bug can cause USB 3.0 devices, like thumb drives, to disappear after entering standby. In some cases, removable devices have to be reconnected again.

It looks like Intel is pushing ahead with the launch of Haswell and hoping that not enough people notice. It is a fairly safe bet as USB SuperSpeed thumbnail drives are thin on the ground.