Unit 5 Analysis 1 Pentium Flaw

Topics: Intel 4004, 1994, Cameron Mitchell Pages: 2 (289 words) Published: April 18, 2015
NT1110 Monday

Unit 5 Analysis 1: Pentium Flaw

Determine the nature of the Pentium flaw, how it was discovered, when it was

discovered, and Intel’s response to the flaw.

In June 1994, Intel discovered the floating-point unit flaw in the Pentium

microprocessor. On October 24th, 1994 he reported the flaw he encountered to Intel.

According to Professor Thomas Nicely, the person that he contacted at Intel later

admitted to Intel being aware of the flaw since May 1994. The flaw was discovered by

Intel during the testing of the FPU for its new P6 core.

Did Intel handle the problem correctly?

I would say no they did not handle the problem correctly at first. On November 7,

1994 the story first broke in an article published in Electronic Engineering Times, "In the

story, Intel says it has corrected the glitch in subsequent runs of the chip, and Steve

Smith of Intel dismisses the importance of the flaw, saying, "This doesn't even qualify as

an errata (sic)."

What did Intel do to satisfy customers concerned about the flaw?

In response to the public's mounting pressure, on December 20, 1994, 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, the total cost associated with replacement of

flawed microprocessors.

What would happen if the same type of flaw were found in a new CPU today?

I believe if this happened in today’s economy that they would go under. They

would have to file bankruptcy. The government would probably bail them out because

Intel is such a large corporation and so much of today’s technology comes from Intel.
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