Feeds

Sun warns of data corruption problem with UltraSPARC III

Firmware update fix will result in performance hit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A potential data corruption problem involving kit based on Sun's UltraSPARC III processor means hardware needs to be updated with a patch that will impact the performance of some applications.

An internal notice on the issue, which has been leaked to The Register, warns: "The SunBlade 1000 [workstation] is affected by a potential data corruption problem involving the prefetch pipeline. This problem is totally alleviated with a firmware update, that will ship with all new systems as of March 14."

SunFire 280R low-end servers will also need to be patched in the field because of the issue but Serengeti mid-range servers, which were introduced last month, will ship with a firmware patch in place.

Sun spokesman Larry Lettieri said that in a "rare set of circumstances" the problem meant that there could be problems with floating point calculations. To get around the issue Sun is issuing a patch that turns off the prefetch pipeline, a feature of the UltraSPARC III chip which tries to retrieve instruction it is most likely to need next.

However, as Sun's own notice admits, this "firmware update has a performance impact that will affect some applications".

Lettieri downplayed the impact of this on customers but wasn't able to tell us immediately which applications would be affected, or to what extent users would see a performance hit. He said Sun and its partners will be contacting customers about the issue to advise them on what action to take.

There were widespread reports of delays and difficulties in meeting demand for kit based on the UltraSparc III, since its introduction in a workstation and low-end server last September. It now looks like slow shipments of the SunBlade 1000 and SunFire 280R are a blessing in disguise because it means fewer firms will be affected by the issue.

Every cloud has a silver lining, even for an outfit called Sun... ®

Related stories

SunFire servers to trash HP by Friday, says McNealy
Lights go out on UltraSPARC III supply
Sun debuts UltraSPARC III and embraces copper
Sun claws its way to top of US server market
Sun suffers UltraSPARC II cache crash headache

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?