Is it better to freeze or give bad results? Skylake and complex math need to learn to get along
Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2016 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Skylake, bug
You may remember the infamous Pentium FDIV bug, which could cause the wrong decimal results to be given in an answer to complex mathematical calculations which caused much consternation among scientists in the early 90's. Now there is a new bug to remember, found on Skylake processors, which can cause the processor to freeze during complex calculations such as you would do in Prime95 or if you contribute to the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search project. The issue has been replicated on both Windows and Linux systems and on different motherboards, signifying that the issue does indeed come from the CPU. While having a freeze is certainly better than getting an incorrect result, it is still inconvenient and we hope that Intel's BIOS update will arrive soon. You can follow the detection and investigation of the bug and what is being done over at The Register.
"The good news is that the bug's triggered by complex workloads. It was turned up by prime number experts the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), who use Intel machines to identify and test new large prime numbers."
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