Linked by David Adams on Mon 5th Mar 2012 22:45 UTC, submitted by gogothebee
Hardware, Embedded Systems "After struggling with this issue for well over a year and really pushing hard to track it down in the last two months I was finally able to come up with a test case running 'cc1' from gcc-4.4 in a loop and get it to fail in less than 60 seconds. Prior to finding this case it would take anywhere up to 2 days with 48 cores fully loaded to reproduce the failure. AMD confirms. ' isn't every day that a guy like me gets to find an honest-to-god hardware bug in a major cpu!'"
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by Hiev on Tue 6th Mar 2012 01:40 UTC
Member since:

The question is, How do you patch a CPU?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by 1c3d0g on Tue 6th Mar 2012 01:48 UTC in reply to "..."
1c3d0g Member since:

BIOS update to try and address the microcode bug?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by voidlogic on Tue 6th Mar 2012 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
voidlogic Member since:

Since (outside of the people who visit this site) most people never update their BIOS, most operating systems will also load updated microcode.

The updated CPU microcode is volatile and therefore must be patched by either the BIOS or OS every boot.

Reply Score: 6

RE: ...
by RDustinB on Tue 6th Mar 2012 04:52 UTC in reply to "..."
RDustinB Member since:

That depends, is it a silicon bug (actual hardware) or a microcode bug (base instruction execution code)?
I am no major-processor expert, but I am an EE and normally if a bug is present in hardware (which costs bazillions of dollars to fix) a patch is created in software (firmware, microcode or whatever) to work around it.

Reply Score: 2

According to the post
by Poseidon on Tue 6th Mar 2012 05:21 UTC
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According to the post, AMD confirmed it is a hardware bug. These I believe have been seen in the past, and the last one I remember (don't quote me on this) was actually fixed by disabling certain instructions so that the bug would not happen.

Reply Score: 1

fix the doco
by zhulien on Tue 6th Mar 2012 07:33 UTC
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maybe they can take advantage of the hardware bug. just document it and it's no longer a problem - all software written to the AMD documentation should work as advertised.

Reply Score: 1

good behavior from their side
by wanker90210 on Tue 6th Mar 2012 10:40 UTC
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AMD working on fixing the bug instead of covering it up makes me like the company even more.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 6th Mar 2012 13:41 UTC
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That would explain the random seg faults I've been getting on my home server about once every 3 to 6 months.


Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

Its not a Joe Shmoe like Bill, Shooter of Bul that found this cpu bug, its Matthew, Father of DragonFly BSD and HammerFS, Dillon.

It would take someone like him, who's stubborn enough and secure enough in his own ability to fork off a major operating system, to find a CPU bug.

Me, I'm excited when I find a bug in my operating system ( if its not windows), database, or programming language and track it down in code. So I imagine he's feeling like that only x 1000

Reply Score: 6

Kochise Member since:

Hope it not blown his brain away with ecstasy :/


Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:

He's also a compiler developer, having written the DICE C compiler in the past, so he knows/understands the inner workings of a CPU, assembler, etc. It's not like John Q. Public, some random OS developer, found the bug. ;)

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:


" he knows/understands the inner workings of a CPU, assembler, etc. It's not like John Q. Public, some random OS developer, found the bug."

As a random OS developer myself, I feel totally dissed.
At what point did "OS developer" fall to the same level as a "script writer"? No disrespect ;) . What's taken the top spot for prestigious technical occupation?

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:

What's taken the top spot for prestigious technical occupation?

Big hardware companies ;)

All software developers, OS and compiler included, must kneel before whatever crap they come up with. And god, how bad it can get...

Edited 2012-03-06 22:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:


This news story along with your comment made my day.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A little false modesty there...
by tidux on Tue 6th Mar 2012 22:05 UTC in reply to "A little false modesty there..."
tidux Member since:

If you get a thrill out of finding bugs in operating systems, Haiku nightly builds should be a constant orgasm for you.

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Hopefully AMD is looking close at what Intel did in this situation.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:


These are more common than you might realize. Having hundreds of "erratum" isn't unusual. For it's part, Amd already has experience with CPU faults, for example, AMD's Phenom processor line once exhibited caching errors and the solution for processors in the field was to disable certain caches.

Something I didn't know until searching today, is that Linux kernel patches were released to work around the processor there's another answer to the first poster's question "How do you patch a CPU?".

Reply Score: 2