PC vendor Toshiba has confirmed that up to 1000 of its locally distributed Satellite notebooks have been affected by a faulty Celeron chip module.
According to Bruce Lakin, general manager for Toshiba's information systems division, as many as 1000 Toshiba notebooks sold in Australia this year were affected by the built-in Intel Celeron 5.4 chip module, which he said was unable to control voltage distribution through the processor when the notebook was operating on low power.
"It's to do with . . . the voltage getting onto the processor when the battery is very low," Lakin said. "It's overloading, not overheating," he stressed.
In the Toshiba range, the hardware fault was restricted to the company's January 2000 batch of Satellite 4090, 4100 and Tecra 8000, P2400 notebooks, manufactured in Japan, Lakin said. However, it is believed that notebooks equipped with the Celeron 5.4 module made by other vendors early this year may also be affected. Of the Toshiba models, Lankin said only the Satellite 4090 had been the subject of significant concern as a result of the Celeron chip module. The other models had received comparatively few complaints, he said.
Whether the problem is due to faulty components supplied by Intel or Toshiba has not yet been fully confirmed, although Lakin said "anecdotally" the cause of the problem was the Celeron module. He added that it was doubtful the problem was caused by any incompatibility between the hardware products.
"We've been partners for a long time."
Lakin said Toshiba would ensure all customers who purchased the affected notebooks would be sent the "5.5" version of the module, which would not have the same problem. Toshiba has contacted their channel partners and will supply any parts needed for repairs, he said.
Intel would not return IDG's calls. It has not been made clear what the processor developer plans to do to rectify the situation.