Engineers Explain 45nm Delays, Errata
January 16, 2008 10:32 AM
comment(s) - last by
Engineers blame simulation for quad-core "showstopper"
More than a few people noticed Intel's roadmap originally slated 45nm
desktop quad-core processors for January, only to have the company change the hard launch date to a not-so-firm "Q1 2008." So what happened? In a series of interviews, the tale of quad-core
began to unfold.
Processor engineers, speaking on background, detailed the problem. "Intel is very sensitive to mean time to failures. During a simulation, at high clock frequencies, engineers noticed an increase of potential failures after a designated amount of time."
He continues, "This is not acceptable for desktop customers that require longterm stability. It's a showstopper."
Previous reports of errata degrading the L2 and L3 cache performance were described as "false" -- desktop
processors do not even have L3 cache. Microcode and BIOS updates issued by Intel since November do not fix or address the "showstopper" bug affecting the launch of the
quad-core Q9300, Q9450 and Q9550 processors
The condition does not affect Xeon quad-core processors. Xeon uses a different stepping than the quad-core processors, which fixes this simulated condition. The quad-core 45nm Extreme Edition processor
launched in November
is also unaffected.
The company would not detail when the processors, originally scheduled for a January 20 launch but announced at CES last week, will see the light of day. Conservative estimates from ASUS and Gigabyte put the re-launch sometime in February. Intel completely removed its January 20 launch from its December 2007 roadmap and has not issued a new roadmap since.
Intel spokesman Dan Snyder says more. "We publicly claimed we will launch its 45nm mainstream processors in Q1 2008, and that's exactly what we did." In fact, the company announced 16 new 45nm processors last week; most of which already shipped to manufacturers -- with the exception of the quad-core desktop variants affected by the showstopper simulation bug.
Taiwanese media was
quick to pin the simulated problem on complacency and lack of competition from AMD
. Intel employees quickly denied the allegation, with the additional claim that the report was "humorous."
At CES last week, Snyder elaborates. "The tick-tock model prevents Intel from missing its launch dates. If the 'tock' team misses a target date, it doesn't affect the 'tick' team."
Tick-tock, the strategy of alternating cycles of architecture change and process shrink, became official company policy on January 1, 2006.
As to why the new Macbook Airs still use the 65nm Core 2 Duo processors?
Even after Foxconn alluded the new notebooks would get 45nm treatment
? Another Intel spokesman declined to respond, only stating, "Our partners are free to choose any of Intel's currently supported processors."
Anand Shimpi explores this more
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I call BS
1/16/2008 11:47:12 AM
Right, but as it was explained to me the tolerances aren't as strict for EE processors.
What tolerances do you mean? Do you mean MTTF tolerances? I'm not sure I understand what that would mean in this case. Are you saying that the specified MTTF for an EE is less than for a mainstream processor?
RE: I call BS
1/16/2008 11:56:57 AM
In short, yes.
Personally, I think Intel's strategy here is "it's overclockers who buy the EE, so, if it suddenly fails, they don't know what to blame it on."
Either way, it's fishy.
RE: I call BS
1/16/2008 12:45:43 PM
I have seen a surprising amount of gamers that run those EE's stock from dell boxes, not understanding overlocking at all (its a pity really, they could save hundreds of dollars).
However that does make a little more sense.
"DailyTech is the best kept secret on the Internet." -- Larry Barber
Intel "Launches" 16 New Processors
January 8, 2008, 3:52 AM
DigiTimes Alleges Intel Launch Delay Conspiracy Theory
December 19, 2007, 12:58 PM
Intel Officially Launches 45nm "Penryn" Achitecture
November 12, 2007, 4:13 PM
Intel Preps 45nm Quad-core Desktop Launch
September 28, 2007, 4:44 AM
"Prepare to be Punished": Microsoft is Killing OneDrive With Cuts, Blames Users
November 3, 2015, 8:23 PM
Apple's New "Magic" Peripheral Line Packs High Tech, High Prices
October 13, 2015, 9:39 PM
Samsung Adds 2 TB 850 EVO, PRO SSDs for $800, $1000
July 7, 2015, 4:23 PM
Seagate Senior Researcher: Heat Can Kill Data on Stored SSDs
May 13, 2015, 2:49 PM
How to Recover Most Apps After Your NVIDIA Driver Crashes in Windows 10
March 30, 2015, 12:54 PM
Tinkerer Gets Old School Mac Plus Running on the Modern Web
March 24, 2015, 6:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information