Pentium Flaw Essay

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Pentium Flaw This flaw is called the floating-point unit flaw (FPU) in the Pentium microprocessor. This flaw was first found in June of 1994 by Professor Thomas Nicely. He was the man responsible for writing the code for the processor, but on June 13th, 1994. Professor Thomas Nicely noticed some inconsistencies in the calculations shortly after adding a Pentium system to his group of computers, but was unable to eliminate other possible factors (such as programming errors, motherboard chipsets, etc.) until October 19, 1994. Then 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 testing of the FPU for its new P6 core, which was first used in the Pentium Pro. After that Professor Thomas Nicely quickly 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 the Internet, and became known as the Pentium FDIV bug. 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)." On November 21, 1994, chief financial correspondent, Steve Young for CNN was the first mainstream media journalist to air the story about the Pentium FDIV flaw and its implications for Intel. The story was later picked up by other national and international media. Because of this On November 30, 1994, Intel released an

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