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July 1, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:46pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp is apparently due to make a major announcement this month about technology it has developed to fix bugs in its microprocessors without having to recall any of the chips. According to the Electronic Engineering Times, the technology will be hidden in the chips, enabling bugs to be patched even after the chips have shipped. Intel was apparently reluctant to talk about the technology before the event, but it is due to make it a big deal, when it is launched. Apparently, the fix, for the Pentium and Pentium II with MMX, and the Pentium Pro, is a BIOS Update Feature, that will be implemented in the personal computer’s BIOS, or Basic Input/Output system. If there were a bug discovered, Intel would be able to post an updated BIOS on its Web site, which the customer could download, thus updating the system’s BIOS and fixing the bug. A semiconductor expert who wished to remain anonymous, said this would probably have been useful in fixing the recent Pentium II floating point bug (CI No 3,155). However, some experts say there may be many bugs the BIOS Update Feature cannot fix. They say it would fix only those bugs that involve a micro coded instruction, and not those involving hardwired instructions.

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