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AMD issues STOP SHIP order on Barcelona

Discussão em 'Novidades Hardware PC' iniciada por Zarolho, 4 de Dezembro de 2007. (Respostas: 52; Visualizações: 3996)

  1. Zarolho

    Zarolho Power Member

    Wow. They are in big trouble.

    No significant quantities of B3 Barcs expected until end of Q1.

    10-20% perf hit with "fix" to B2. Impacts lower speeds.

    Seems to me that AMD should be publicly *recalling* all K10 parts, including Phenom.

    Intel is going to take virtually all of their server share over the next few months.



    Chip problem limits supply of quad-core Opterons
    by Scott Wasson — 1:49 PM on December 3, 2007

    AMD's quad-core "Barcelona" Opterons have been notably difficult to find since their introduction two months ago, and The Tech Report has learned that a chip-level problem has impacted the supply of these chips to both server OEMs and distribution channel customers.

    Chipmakers refer to chip-level problems as errata. Errata are fairly common in microprocessors, though they vary in nature and severity. This particular erratum first became widely known when AMD attributed the delay of the 2.4GHz version of its Phenom desktop processor to the problem. Not much is known about the specifics of the erratum, but it is related to the translation lookaside buffer (TLB) in the processor's L3 cache. The erratum can cause a system hang with certain software workloads. The issue occurs very rarely, and thus was not caught by AMD's usual qualification testing.

    An industry source at a tier-two reseller told The Tech Report that the TLB erratum has led to a "stop ship" order on all Barcelona Opterons. When asked for comment, spokesman Phil Hughes said AMD is shipping Barcelona Opterons now, but only for "specific customer deals." Industry sources have suggested to TR that those deals are high-volume situations involving supercomputing clusters. Such customers may run workloads less likely to be affected by any workarounds for the erratum that reduce L3 cache performance, and those customers could potentially consume hundreds of thousands of CPUs. Our sources indicate, and the current availability picture would seem to confirm, that quad-core Opterons are not shipping to OEMs or the channel more generally.

    News of this problem is notable because it confirms that the TLB erratum affects Barcelona server processors as well as Phenom desktop CPUs, and that the problem impacts AMD's quad-core processors at lower clock speeds. AMD's initial public statements about the erratum and the delay of the 2.4GHz Phenom seemed to imply that the issue was closely related to clock frequencies. The Opteron 2300 lineup spans clock speeds from 1.7GHz to 2.0GHz. Those CPUs' north bridge clocks, which determine the frequency of the L3 cache, range from 1.4GHz to 1.8GHz.

    The erratum is present in all AMD quad-core processors up to the current B2 revision. AMD has said a revision B3 is in the works and expected in Q1. One source told TR that large quantities of B3 chips might not be available until the end of Q1.

    The potential for instability with the TLB erratum can be corrected via BIOS-based workaround, but multiple sources have suggested the BIOS fix involves a substantial performance hit. AMD has publicly estimated the performance penalty for the BIOS fix could be around 10%, and one source pegged the penalty at 10-20%. AMD has acknowledged that the TLB erratum particularly affects virtualization, and industry sources say the performance hit from the fix may be most severe with virtualization, as well. Server administrators responsible for virtualized environments will probably want to wait for the B3-rev CPUs before upgrading.

    TR has attempted to confirm the impact of the BIOS-based fix, but the BIOS for the SuperMicro H8DMU+ motherboard used in our review of the Barcelona Opterons has not been updated since mid-September and doesn't appear to include the TLB erratum workaround.

    Linux users may have another option in the form of a patch for that operating system's kernel. Sources estimate this patch's performance hit at less than one percent, but it comes with several caveats. At present, the patch purportedly only applies to the 64-bit version Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Upgrade 4. Customers must sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to obtain the patch, and will be responsible for supporting it themselves. The patch doesn't currently appear to be available via Red Hat's regular support channels.

    At present, Microsoft doesn't offer a Windows hotfix to address the problem, and our sources were doubtful about the prospects for such a patch. CPU makers have oftentimes addressed errata via updates to the processor's microcode, but such a fix for this problem also appears to be unlikely.

    Última edição: 4 de Dezembro de 2007
  2. Zarolho

    Zarolho Power Member

    TechReport: All Phenoms have TLB bug, AMD misled reviewers on 9500/9600 performance

    Wow. It keeps getting worse.

    AMD lied about northbridge speeds on retail 9500 and 9600 Phenoms, which inflated review performance. They told people it would be 2GHz NB, retail parts are actually 1.8GHz NB.

    And the TLB crash bug is NOT the reason for the 9700 recall-- that's something else, apparently, per AMD.

    9500 and 9600 suffer from the TLB crash bug. AMD's fix, which partially disables the TLB, costs 10% additional performance hit (vs. reviews you've read) per AMD, and 10-20% per industry sources.

    AMD does not expect B3 parts until mid to late Q1.

    Here's the article:



    Erratum degrades Phenom 9500, 9600 performance
    by Scott Wasson — 9:25 PM on December 3, 2007

    We reported earlier today that a problem with AMD's quad-core processors has limited supply of "Barcelona" Opterons, but that is only part of the picture. Because the hardware bug—known as an erratum—affects all revisions and clock speeds of AMD's quad-core processors, it affects the newly introduced Phenom 9500 and 9600 processors, as well. And although AMD is no longer shipping quad-core Opterons to major server vendors and general customers, it is shipping Phenoms to large PC builders and distributors. In fact, AMD knew about the erratum before the Phenom product launch.

    To recap, the erratum is a chip-level issue involving the TLB logic for the L3 cache that can cause system hangs in specific circumstances. AMD has a fix for the problem in the works, but it degrades performance. AMD has stated publicly that the workaround can lower performance by as much as 10%, although one source characterized the performance hit to TR as 10-20%.

    In order to better understand this problem, TR spoke with Michael Saucier, Desktop Product Marketing Manager at AMD. Saucier confirmed that the TLB erratum's effects are felt when the chip is experiencing high utilization. AMD has stated previously that virtualization workloads can lead to this problem, but Saucier clarified that other workloads can trigger system hangs, as well. He characterized the issue as a race condition in the TLB logic "where the other guy wins who isn't supposed to win," and said the likelihood of the erratum causing a system hang is extremely rare.

    Apparently contradicting prior AMD statements on the matter, Saucier flatly denied any relationship between the TLB erratum and chip clock frequencies. He also said there's no relationship between clock speeds and the performance degradation caused by the BIOS-based fix for the erratum. AMD had previously cited the TLB erratum as the primary motivation behind its decision to delay the 2.4GHz Phenom variant.

    Saucier clarified the exact nature of the workaround for the erratum that AMD has provided to motherboard makers and PC manufacturers. The fix comes in the form of a BIOS update, and this BIOS patch includes an update to the CPU microcode. This update disables the portion of the chip's TLB logic that is problematic. Saucier noted that the L3 cache "still works" with this logic disabled, and he said AMD has no plans to implement the fix for existing chips in a different way.

    Instead, AMD is preparing a hardware fix in the next revision of the chip, dubbed B3. Future revisions of the Phenom, including the planned Phenom 9700 model at 2.4GHz and the 9900 at 2.6GHz, will include the fix. AMD plans to replace the current Phenom 9500 and 9600 models with new 9550 and 9650 models, based on the B3 chip, as well. Saucier's best estimate for the arrival of B3 chips is "mid to late Q1" next year.

    In another bit of news, the company will introduce "more than two" triple-core Phenom variants by the end of Q1, too.

    AMD claims it has handed off the BIOS workaround to motherboard makers for implementation, and Saucier told us the company's guidance to partners included an enable/disable option in the BIOS. AMD also has plans for an update to its Overdrive overclocking utility for Windows that will allow users to toggle the erratum fix on and off. Saucier said AMD's thinking here is that savvy users may choose higher performance over the relatively small risk of experiencing a system hang due to the TLB problem.

    However, as far as TR has been able to determine, BIOS updates with the workaround are not yet available from the three major motherboard vendors shipping Phenom motherboards based on the AMD 790FX chipset. We have inquired with each of them and are currently awaiting definitive answers about an ETA for a BIOS update with the workaround. We also asked about the possibility of a BIOS option to enable and disable the fix. Similarly, SuperMicro apparently doesn't yet offer an updated BIOS for it H8DMU+ server platform for Barcelona Opterons.

    According to Saucier, AMD's PC OEM partners were informed about the erratum prior to the launch and should have fixes available.

    The erratum itself is not yet documented on AMD's website, although AMD spokesman Phil Hughes told us the TLB issue has been designated errata number 298. When questioned about when AMD would update its technical documentation to include the erratum, Saucier said the person responsible for the updates is "on vacation," although he expects an update "by the end of the year."

    Incidentally, the presence of the TLB erratum may explain the odd behavior of AMD's PR team during the lead-up to the Phenom launch, as I described in my recent blog post. The decision to use 2.6GHz parts and require the press to test in a controlled environment makes more sense in this context. Since 2.6GHz Phenoms, when they arrive, should be based on the B3 revision of the chip with the TLB erratum fix, AMD could justifiably argue that their performance won't be limited by the BIOS-based workaround. Saucier confirmed to us that the test systems at the Tahoe press event did not have the workaround enabled.

    On a related note, AMD PR consistently denied TR's request for samples of the production Phenom 9500 and 9600 models in the days following the product launch, until we informed them that we'd ordered a CPU from Newegg. We received a production sample of the Phenom 9600 from AMD shortly thereafter, followed by the 9500 we purchased at Newegg.

    We don't yet have a BIOS with the workaround to test, but we've already discovered that our Phenom review overstates the performance of the 2.3GHz Phenom. We tested at a 2.3GHz core clock with a 2.0GHz north bridge clock, because AMD told us those speeds were representative of the Phenom 9600. Our production samples of the Phenom 9500 and 9600, however, have north bridge clocks of 1.8GHz. We've already confirmed lower scores in some benchmarks.

    Given everything we've learned in the past few days, our review clearly overstates Phenom 9600 performance, as do (more likely than not) other reviews of the product. We can't know entirely by how much, though, until we can test a Phenom system with the TLB erratum workaround applied.

  3. kronozord

    kronozord Power Member

    8| OMG tao tao fod***** agora a intel nem precisa de baixar preços e os novo de 45nm até podem vir mais caros de que o valor previsto. Por que se o zé povo ouve isto de processadores com bugs é= a processadores que nao funcionam , entao ninguem compra amd e é o fim da concorrencia... pelo menos durante uns tempos
  4. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz Power Member

    Que estupidez de comentário esse do xtremesystems..

    Os resultados que os reviewers tiveram estão certos, foram eles que os obtiveram com material que está hoje à venda.
    O que é de esperar é um boost na performance da revisão B3 em relação aos CPUs actuais.
  5. kronozord

    kronozord Power Member

    Entao isto é verdade ou é mentira??????
    Para o bem da AMD espero que seja mentira mas assim este site está a plicar um golpe baixo contra esta companhia, demasiado baixo.
  6. Zarolho

    Zarolho Power Member

    O problema não o que a Intel faz ou deixa de fazer. A questão é que do lado da AMD não há opção.... ZERO!!

    CPUs com bugs, fraca performance relativamente á concorrência e oferta reduzida, que nem uma redução de preços é capaz de atenuar o péssimo momento da empresa.

    E ficamos por aqui porque se juntarmos a isto o facto da plataforma «Spider» estar aquém do esperado devido sobre tudo aos CPUs, ao chipset ainda muito verde e com muitos bugs e ao pouco interesse demonstrado pelos fabricantes de boards...
  7. gryle

    gryle Power Member

    Os testes feitos pelos reviewrs foram feitos sem o fix para o problema de estabilidade que retira 10% de performance.
    Portanto não esperes grandes aumentos de performance com a revisão B3
  8. MinisterOfSound

    MinisterOfSound Power Member


    Eu acho piada é que á minima coisinha que esteja mal cai tudo em cima da AMD e proclamam logo o óbito certo da empresa, quando acontece algo de mal na Intel ninguêm fala...

    Tanto quanto eu sei os Core 2 Duo tinham 67 Bugs reconhecidos pela Intel que afectam a performance e compatibilidades, ninguem disponivel para passar um atestado de óbito á Intel?!?

    Pelo que vi há 0 (zero) posts neste forum a falar neles e nos seus impactos.


    EDIT: Já agora, acho que para já só a Intel é que teve Bugs criticos que levaram a processos em tribunal...
  9. Zarolho

    Zarolho Power Member

    Minima coisinha?!... Uma empresa como que devido á sua pequena dimensão face ao rival demonstra grandes dificuldades em implementar um novo produto e convencer o mercado, que apresenta uma saude financeira débil... Isto é algo que se possa levar com a minima ligeireza?!

    Isso se fosse com a Intel o que se diria?!.... Num passado não muito recente era acusada por tudo que mexia com o mercado.

    Revelas falta de conhecimento dos temas que se tem discutido por aqui ao longo dos tempos. Esse tema já foi mais que discutido e debatido, já se sabe que tanto os CPUs da Intel como da AMD "carregam" bugs como desde sempre.

    Mas nada como acontece agora com os Phenon da AMD que põem em causa a estabilidade em determinadas situações e que limita a própria produção dos CPUs.

    Tudo isto acontece com a introdução de uma tecnologia que é a base estrutural e core business da empresa... Falhando isto resta o que?!
    Última edição: 4 de Dezembro de 2007
  10. fflipmode

    fflipmode Power Member

    e btw, estes bugs ñ afectavam performance e compatibilidades nenhumas..

    PS: lol @ AMD :joker:
  11. S1nnless

    S1nnless What is folding?

    Felizmente para a AMD, os Phenom não iriam ser a grande "salvação" da empresa em termos financeiros. Esta está a acontecer com o aumento crescente de OEM's interessados em produtos AMD, quer CPU's como gráficas e chipset. Principalmente a HP, em que grande parte dos produtos são conjuntos Athlon 64 (X2 ou não) + Radeon + RS480/580/690 em desktop. Nos laptops. so Turion e Sempron dão cada vez mais cartas em modelos da Toshiba, MSI, Asus e HP também. A "salvação" da empresa irá surgir daí, não da venda da plataforma Spider a users.
  12. Zarolho

    Zarolho Power Member

    Que os Deuses te oiçam...:D

    Mas duvido que seja esse o panorama actual, contudo eu nunca referi que a AMD se encontra á beira da "Morte".... Simplesmente o panorama actual parece-me a mim que é demasiado "negro" e o futuro incerto, nada mais...

    Como consumidor e gestor de um departamento informático de uma empresa industrial de tecnologia, a mim interessa-me o melhor que o mercado tem para oferecer e actualmente a AMD não faz parte da minha lista conforme fez num passado recente.

    Até "novos ventos" nada mais me resta para dizer... Hasta la Vista!
    Última edição: 4 de Dezembro de 2007
  13. S1nnless

    S1nnless What is folding?

    Ah, não estava a insinuar que estavas a dizer isso da AMD. Realmente, para os utilizadores gerais, AMD não é tão poderosa como a Intel. Mas os X2 de baixa gama continuam extremamente competitivos em stock clocks com os Pentium E2xxx e Core 2 Duo E4xxx. Para utilizadores que não consideram overclock, até podem ser melhor escolha, devido aos preços menores das motherboards
  14. Strakata

    Strakata [email protected] Member

  15. _zZz_

    _zZz_ Professional Folder

    bem negra.. as accoes ja vao em 9 dolares! :( :(

    STRESSY Power Member

    Está claramente evidente que aquela AMD que muitos diziam que ia passar a perna à intel na altura do AMD64bits ou arranja um grande investidor e obtém resultados a médio-prazo ou é o fim da empresa.
  17. Xmeagol

    Xmeagol Power Member

    duvido que eles morram facilmente
  18. kronozord

    kronozord Power Member

    Fim é um pouco tragico mas só poderá competir em low end sem overclock...
    Se acabasse compravas um celeron a 200 oiros... 8|

    STRESSY Power Member

    É claro que a intel vai chulando enquanto pode..
  20. kronozord

    kronozord Power Member

    Eu não os censuro, se fosse o dono tambem fazia o mesmo, e olha que a minha conta bancaria ia engordar a olhos vistos.:D

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