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Old 6th Mar 2012, 13:45   #1
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BSD coder finds AMD processor bug

A coder on the DragonFly BSD project has tracked down a bug in AMD's instruction set architecture.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...amd-chip-bug/1
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:03   #2
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I doubt he'll be rewarded for his efforts!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
can create a condition where the process or incorrectly updates the stack pointer.
Should that read "can create a condition where the processor incorrectly updates the stack pointer."
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 14:35   #3
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Originally Posted by B1GBUD View Post
Should that read "can create a condition where the processor incorrectly updates the stack pointer."
Yes. Yes, it should. Fixed, ta!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:08   #4
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So exactly which CPUs does this affect?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:09   #5
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So exactly which CPUs does this affect?
AMD hasn't said yet; we'll have to wait for the updated errata document to be sure.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:13   #6
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OMG its not like intel have errata documents is it.....

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www...ion-update.pdf

from jan this year for the SB i5....
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 15:29   #7
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We all make mistakes, it seems a rather specific set of instructions needed to occur to cause a bug so it would seem unlikely that it would happen much IRL. At least they said cheers for finding a bug !
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 16:28   #8
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All CPUs have errata lists that seem to go on forever. I'm impressed with the professionalism of both Dillon and AMD in this case; I'd have half expected the developer to go running to the internet media and bring down a firestorm. Instead, he works for a year to isolate it, then works with the manufacturer to validate the issue.

It's not exactly a scenario that is going to happen very often, though - at least consumers won't have anything to worry about if it only happens on >=48 core systems...
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 17:06   #9
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That's all right then, as long as it's not going to affect my gaming it's hard to be worried about this issue, both chip firms give you more or less lifetime guarantees anyway if you're not overclocking.

They should offer him a job
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 18:45   #10
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good find
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 21:40   #11
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I'm impressed at how well he kept his cool.. Segmentation faults can be.. Stressful.
Must have been somewhat of a relief when he finally figured out it wasn't his code stuffing up.
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Old 7th Mar 2012, 01:35   #12
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Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
Yes. Yes, it should. Fixed, ta!
Where's his reward for finding your erratum?
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Old 7th Mar 2012, 09:24   #13
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Where's his reward for finding your erratum?
It's that warm glow of self-satisfaction you get. You know the one. That's the reward.*

* Reward has no cash value. Not redeemable for cash. No alternative will be offered. Limit one per household. Limited time offer. No purchase necessary. See website for details. May contain nuts. Keep out of reach of children. Offer void where prohibited.
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Old 7th Mar 2012, 10:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post
All CPUs have errata lists that seem to go on forever. I'm impressed with the professionalism of both Dillon and AMD in this case; I'd have half expected the developer to go running to the internet media and bring down a firestorm. Instead, he works for a year to isolate it, then works with the manufacturer to validate the issue.

It's not exactly a scenario that is going to happen very often, though - at least consumers won't have anything to worry about if it only happens on >=48 core systems...
I'd best be looking out for it then.

Any word on which CPUs in particular are affected?
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Old 7th Mar 2012, 16:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k4p84
We all make mistakes, it seems a rather specific set of instructions needed to occur to cause a bug so it would seem unlikely that it would happen much IRL. At least they said cheers for finding a bug !
Who knows - it doesn't announce itself, it just makes your machine crash. Perhaps it's effected plenty of people with random crashes?
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Old 8th Mar 2012, 10:03   #16
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Article updated with a response from AMD - seems it affects the previous four generations of Opteron chips, but not the new Bulldozer-based parts. No desktop or laptop parts affected, either.
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Old 8th Mar 2012, 10:25   #17
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So my new-build 'Mangy-Cours' machine is broken before I've even finished putting it together?!
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Old 8th Mar 2012, 12:31   #18
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So my new-build 'Mangy-Cours' machine is broken before I've even finished putting it together?!
Only if you're doing something so rare and specific it took an experienced coder a year just to find a reliable test case...
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