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 1:34:44 PM
LOL. Sounds like you are running into the circular discussions I ran into when we posted that yorkfield had a bug.
We know there is a bug that caused a delay its not the end of the world and will be corrected. Just have to wait a little longer for the chip.
The question is
Does the bug really matter if the chips containing it aren't released?
This isn't like the Phenom that is out in the wild that requires a bios update to ensure it doesn't run into the issue. Errata happens.
Had Intel released the chips into the wild and the bug happens then its big news. Till then its just a minor delay.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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
Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH Motherboard Gets Thunderbolt 2 Certification
December 16, 2013, 11:01 AM
Report: Google May Design its Own ARM-Based Server Processors
December 13, 2013, 12:25 PM
Qualcomm Unveils First 64-Bit "Snapdragon 410" Mobile Processor
December 10, 2013, 12:20 PM
12/9/2013 Daily Hardware Reviews
December 9, 2013, 5:34 PM
Samsung Unveils "Industry First" 1TB mSATA SSD
December 9, 2013, 10:21 AM
12/4/2013 Daily Hardware Reviews
December 4, 2013, 5:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
China's Lunar Rover Enters Orbit, Prepares for Historic Sat. Landing
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM
Metro-Enabled Firefox Browser Expected to Land After Two Years of Work
December 12, 2013, 5:21 PM
The History of Normandy: How Nokia Plotted a Low-End Android Line
December 11, 2013, 8:12 PM
Ten Senators Sponsor Bill to Scrap Corn Ethanol Market Manipulation
December 13, 2013, 1:52 PM
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information