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December 2nd, 1999

[1:45 PM] Processor Production Problems Are Not Limited To Motorola
by Kyle D'Addario

C|Net has reported that there is bug in Intel's new "Coppermine" based Pentium III chips. Reportedly, the bug interrupts the start up process, requiring users to hit the power key twice before the machine will boot properly. Intel claims that this bug is present in less than two percent of the new chips, but that is enough for some manufacturers using the Intel chip. According to C-Net:

The flaw, or erratum, becomes apparent in the "boot-up" sequence and essentially forces computer owners to hit the "on" button twice, according to Michael Sullivan, an Intel spokesman. If a computer contains a chip with the flaw, it does not start until the second try.

"It is like starting something twice," he said.

The bug only affects 1 to 2 percent of "Coppermine" Pentium III processors and has only been observed in labs, Sullivan said.

Dell has reportedly held back development of their line of Coppermine based computers, taking the higher ground and testing for any chips in their stock that contain the bug. Other manufacturers are likely to follow.

Intel claims that the bug will be fixed shortly, and by the time the new PIII chip is widely available, that problem should be alleviated.

The Mac Observer Spin: The new chip was expected to ship over the summer, and has been held back time and time again. Now, in mass production, there seems to be a flaw. Apple won the first round of "Computer Wars" by getting the G4 to market ahead of the Coppermine Pentiums. The result, of course, was positive for Apple. Despite their own problems with the new G4 chips, Apple's stock continues to rise, and support is nearing an all-time high for the little computer company that could.

Next up is the OS battle. Whoever gets a functioning, reasonably stable version of the next generations OS out the door first is going to cash in big time. OS X is going to be all you hoped, and more. Windows 2000 is likely a strong OS as well, but whichever company can produce will have the "wave of popularity" advantage.

As the problems with the new PIII chips have shown, and Apple's own G4, producing a functioning product, on time, is crucial.

Intel - Apple



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