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Intel uncovers new erratum in PIII and Xeon CPUs

Hangs multi-CPU machines, and needs bios update

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Intel has found an erratum (one of those things that isn't a bug, honest) in Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon processors, according to hardware site HardwareCentral. The problem manifests itself as a system hang, and the more processors in the system, the more likely it is to occur. The fix requires a bios update, and OEMs were given the code for this earlier this month. According to HardwareCentral, the system may hang when the processor requests data from the system memory bus while another processor or bus master asks for memory contents being used by the first processor. We particularly liked Intel's deadpan FAQ, which includes: Q: How serious is this issue? A: Intel does not provide judgement on the relative importance of an erratum. Meanwhile, some earth-shattering news seems to have bobbed to the top of Intel's Product Change Notification Index last week. "Alternate Corrugated Cardboard Tray Styles Shipping on Boxed Intel Pentium II, Pentium III and Celeron Processors," it says here. Phew. "Beginning in August 1999, Intel will begin using two different styles of corrugated cardboard trays." Intel: the company that keeps you informed. But there's more. The notification is linked to a one page PDF which informs us: "Please respond to your distributor if you have any issues with the timeline or content of this change. No response from customers will be deemed as acceptance of the change and the change will be implemented pursuant to the key milestones set forth in the attached PCN." So if you want to revolt against the new corrugated trays, you'd better make it quick. ®

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