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Pentium FDIV flaw-lessons learned

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As the tidal wave of publicity surrounding the Pentium floating-point divide bug subsides, questions about the controversy's lasting impact linger. Intel's competitors may rejoice at the industry giant's technical and public relations missteps, but they too must worry about damage done to customer confidence, shuddering at the prospect of taking a similar public pratfall. And consumers, justified or not, have new reliability worries with every new product release. Intel recently adopted a "no questions asked" replacement policy for defective Pentium chips, reversing its earlier stance. As part of a new commitment to openness, Intel has posted a variety of documents on its World Wide Web home page (http://www.intel.com) describing the flaw, analysing its severity, and providing replacement procedures. Industry observers have pointed to the benefits that will come from Intel's woes: more openness by manufacturers, better understanding among consumers of the problems facing chip makers, and greater emphasis on testing. For chip makers and computer users alike, it remains then to calculate the lessons learned

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 1995

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