Pentium Flaw Essay

351 words - 2 pages

Pentium Flaw
There once was a microprocessor built by Intel that had certain issues. It became infamously known as the “Bug” in the Intel Pentium floating point unit also called Pentium FDIV bug or more commonly known as The Pentium Flaw. The error was very rarely seen by consumers, (1 in 9 billion floating point divide with random parameters would produce inaccurate results) Ref. Wikipedia.org according to bytes magazine. Intel was badly criticized for its initial response and inevitably recalled all the ...view middle of the document...

Intel came out publicly saying that it was not serious and would not affect most users. According to Nicely, the person he contacted at Intel admitted later that he was aware of the defect since May of 1994.
To satisfy customers, Intel offered to replace the chip to consumers who could prove that they were affected on December 20,1994. Only a small percentage of Pentium owners responded to the recall. This however cost Intel a reported $475 million against earnings. It’s even been said that later in the future, Intel turned them into key rings. If this were to happen today, I think Intel or whatever other company, would handle it a lot better in terms of public relations. Reason I say that is because the Pentium Flaw incident taught companies to better handle such problems by first handling the public relations part of the actual problem. Being that the Pentium FDIV Bug did not even affect the common user to the extent where it was that critical, it was more of a push made by the press to exaggerate the fact. In conclusion, I think Intel initially did not handle matters to the best of their capabilities, but on the other hand they learned and taught others how to address such situations if they reoccur.

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