Multinational chip manufacturer Nvidia has revealed that significant quantities of older laptop GPUs have a major problem.

The thermal design of some laptops and the packaging material for the chips have been given as reasons for the fault by the company, which has released a new software driver to counter the problem.

The new driver, which has now been given directly to manufacturers, causes system fans to start operating sooner to reduce the 'thermal stress' on the chips.

Costly

It's both an embarrassing admission for Nvidia and a costly one – with the company putting a charge of between $150 million and $200 million against second quarter earnings to cover the cost of replacements.

The news comes on the back of Nvidia's admission that it is lowering its revenue forecast for the quarter, due to pricing pressure and product delays