NT1310 Unit 5 Assignment 1

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Intel in 1994 was a powerhouse of production and innovation. Expanding with new semiconductor plants in Ireland and New Mexico totaling $1.5 billion, as well as planning a $1.3 billion chip plant in Arizona. Intel had bet on the performance of their Pentium processor line. But no product can be perfect. When compared to the Intel486 processor, the Pentium line offered a new 800 then 600nm manufacturing process while doubling the bus size and further increasing clock speeds for half the cost of a comparable 486. But their new P5 microarchitecture came with a fatal flaw that would cost Intel $475 million to correct. Pushing for doubling the performance of their new processor, engineering decisions had to made that had the ill effect of causing major division errors in the fourth significant digit of a decimal number. With 2014 being the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the bug, new opinions and insight can be found from engineers, consumers, and executives alike. “What a year. For our high-performance Pentium processor, 1994 was the best of times—and the worst of times.” (Intel 1994) The first to report the flaw in the Floating Point Unit, or…show more content…
A New York Times article titled Flaw Undermines Accuracy of Pentium Chips caused many consumers and businesses alike to lose faith in the Pentium microprocessor. The chip had already begun sale in popular consumer computers, from manufacturers including I.B.M., Compaq, Dell, Gateway, and more. The New York Times reported market research had concluded that Intel would sell between 5.5 and 6 million faulty chips, making up 10% of all PC’s sold worldwide. Intel’s 1994 Annual Report proudly claimed that despite the backlash of the Pentium flaw, Intel remained at the top of their market in comparison to their competition, namely PowerPC and other RISC based chips from “imitators of the Intel architecture” (Intel

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