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AMD

Submission + - Barcelona Bug More Serious Than Thought

An anonymous reader writes: The bug that's at issue in the shipping delays of AMD's new Barcelona and Phenom quad-core processors may be far more serious than anyone thought, according to InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe. He wrote a post on Friday where he guessed that the translation-lookaside buffer erratum which AMD said was at fault was actually the fairly minor erratum 122 in its current documentation, which has an easy workaround. Turns out the bug may actually be the far more serious, non-public erratum 298. The problem is that the BIOS level fix that's available results in a big performance penalty. Writes Wolfe's reader: " The patch, needed to avoid random crashes, results in [an approximately] 13% penalty to desktop apps and a huge penalty to virtualization. The penalty is so bad that no Tier 1 OEM will ship Barcelona servers until the B3 stepping in Q1." There is an OS fix with no performance hit, but the speculation is that OEMs don't want to be holding the bag for users who forget to implement it. Do you think AMD should do a recall, like Intel did for the infamous 1994 Pentium FDIV bug?

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