Essay on The Pentium Flaw

632 Words3 Pages
The Pentium Flaw

NT1110 Computer Structure and Logic
Unit 2 Analysis

The Pentium floating-point unit flaw only occurred on some models of the original Pentium microprocessor chip. Any of the Pentium family processors with a clock speed of at least 120 MHz is new enough not to have the bug. On the affected microprocessor models, the Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility checks for the floating-point unit flaw.
Professor Thomas Nicely sent an email describing the flaw that he had discovered in the Pentium floating point unit (FPU) to various contacts, requesting reports of testing for the flaw on the 486-DX4s, Pentium and the Pentium clones. The flaw in the Pentium FPU (floating-point unit) was quickly verified by other people around
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The story was later picked up by other national and international media..
On November 30, 1994, Intel released an in-house study of the flaw, "Statistical Analysis of Floating Point Flaw in the Pentium Processor" H.P. Sharangpani and M.L. Barton, Intel Corporation. The study on the Pentium processor minimized the potential impact of the flaw on the majority of the users. On December 12, 1994, IBM decides to do their own study on the Pentium microprocessor chip challenging Intel's analysis and concluding that the FPU flaw will seriously impact the work of a vast majority of users both within and outside the scientific community.
On December 20, 1994, in response to the public's mounting pressure, Intel announces plans for a total recall, replacement and destruction of all the flawed Pentium microprocessors. On January 17, 1995, Intel announces a pre-tax charge of 475 million dollars against their earnings, ostensibly the total cost associated with replacement of flawed microprocessors.
If the same Pentium floating-point unit flaw happened today in today's economy I believe Intel would go under. The government may bail them out of the bankruptcy and that would be only because the
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