Intel's official policy statement on pentium defective chips

Pedro Mendes prm at aber.ac.uk
Mon Nov 28 10:56:41 EST 1994

got this from comp.sys.intel, look there for more info (see also my previous 
post). The text below is not mine (see references and from lines)
From: antonio at qualcomm.com (Franklin Antonio)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.intel
Subject: Intel's official policy statement (was Re: Access to Intel
re:Pentium(tm) Processor FP Flaw Concerns)
Date: 25 Nov 1994 02:27:54 GMT
Organization: Qualcomm Inc.
Lines: 48
Message-ID: <3b3i3a$3bd at qualcomm.com>
References: <3b2flp$lvh at newsbf01.news.aol.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: qualcom-e.qualcomm.com

In article <3b2flp$lvh at newsbf01.news.aol.com>, KMKE <kmke at aol.com> wrote:
>Intel's Application Support Organization is available to you to directly

Thank you for posting this information Ken.  I appreciate the fact that
you advised us of the availability of this official position statement

>printed response to the Pentium(tm) Processor Floating Point Flaw is
>... document 9788 at 800-525-3019  

I obtained this document per the above instructions, and OCR'd it to
text.  I am posting it here as a service to the comp.sys.intel community, 
and to save Intel a few bucks on their phone bill.  I think this is easier 
than having each of us individually call the number and get the fax.
The following is the full text of document #9788 from Intel...

           Intel Pentium(TM) Processor: Floating Point Unit Information


  There has been a lot of communication recently on the Internet about  a
  floating point flaw on the Pentium(TM) processor.  For  almost  all  users,
  this is not a problem.  Here are the facts.  Intel  detected  a  subtle
  flaw in the precision of the divide operation for the  Pentium  Processor.
  For rare cases (one in nine billion possible divides), the  precision  of
  the result is reduced.  Intel discovered this subtle  flaw  during  ongoing
  testing -- after several trillions of floating point operations in  our
  continuing testing of the Pentium processor.  Intel  immediately  tested
  the most stringent technical applications that use the floating  point
  unit over the course of months and we have been unable to  detect  any
  error.  In fact, after extensive testing and shipping millions of
  Pentium processor-based systems, there has only been one reported
  instance of this flaw affecting a user, to our knowledge.  In  this  case,
  a mathematician doing theoretical analysis of prime numbers and
  reciprocals saw reduced precision at the 9th place to the right of  the
  decimal.  In fact, extensive engineering tests demonstrated that an
  average spreadsheet user could encounter this subtle flaw  of  reduced
  precision once in every 27,000 years of use.  Based on  these  empirical
  observations and our extensive testing, the user of standard
  off-the-shelf software will not be impacted.  If you do  this  kind  of
  prime numbers generation or other complex mathematics, call
  1-800-628-8686 (International 916-356-3551).  If you  don-t,  you  wont  
  encounter any problems with your Pentium  processor-based  system.  if
  ever in the life of the computer this becomes a problem, Intel  will  work
  with the customer to resolve the issue.

22 November 1994           Intel FaxBack # 9788                 Page  1

More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net