PENTIUM DIVIDED

28. September 1995, 17:26 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

While most people have heard about the Pentium flaw, the more telling concern is whether you really need to ged a replacement processor.

Flaws in complex semiconductor chips are fairly common and there is a real flaw in the initial run of Pentium processors. The bug exists in the floating point unit and affects the division of a rare combination of numbers producing errors in the fourth through nineteenth decimal places of the result. If you don't use the floating point unit, or do so only rarely this flaw will likely never affect you.

If you want a replacement processor, Intel will issue a new chip at any time. To find out if you have a flawed unit, perform the following calculation using Windows Calculator, any spreadsheet or the Unix command line:

4195835 / 3145727 * 3145727 - 4195835

If the answer is zero then the processor is fine. If it is -256, you have a Pentium with the bug and may want to replace it. You can call Intel or your computer manufacturer, or if willing to do the replacement yourself call Intel at (800) 628-8686 and make arrangements for a replacement.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: Pentium,flaw,bug

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