Feeds

Oh no! It's Intel FDIV time again!

Floating point errors back from the dead to haunt Chipzilla

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

As if it weren't enough that you can't buy Coppermine Pentium IIIs for love nor money, the latest list of erratanotbugs on the Intel Web site (over 60 and counting) includes one guaranteed to send a shiver down the spines of everyone at Satan Clara: "E56. It is possible that a negative sign bit may be incorrectly applied to the result of an x87 floating point operation if it is closely preceded by a Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) multiply operation... ...Implication: If this erratum occurs, the result of an x87 floating point instruction which should be positive will instead be negative." It is apparently possible for a BIOS mod to provide a workaround for the bug, but at the moment, any Coppermine could be doing its sums wrong. This is terribly embarrassing for Chipzilla, which still uses the original Pentium FDIV (floating point divide) fault to put a scare into new recruits and to remind employees of the inherent fallibility of man. It's not entirely clear whether this bug applies to Katmai as well as Coppermine cores. The original Pentiums were made into expensive keyrings after Intel refunded millions of dollars to users, so if you're lucky enough to have a Coppermine, maybe those nice folks at Intel are about to refund you the purchase price... The URL for the site where you can download the PDF is here. Intel adds: "Intel publishes Spec updates, listing Errata (all processors have errata) to end users and manufacturers. This errata was identified and a fix published some time ago." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.