Glitchmare stumps Intel



Chip manufacturer Intel Corporation has abandoned efforts to fix glitches in a chipset it designed for Pentium 3 processors after rescue operations for...



Chip manufacturer Intel Corporation has abandoned efforts to fix glitches in a chipset it designed for Pentium 3 processors after rescue operations for the Memory Translation Hub (MTH) proved too problem-fraught and costly.

The MTH was designed by the company to translate between two different techniques for connecting computer memory to microprocessors.

Originally, Intel had used Rambus technology, which links processors and memory at four times the speed of other approaches, in an effort to boost the performance of PCs. However concerns were expressed in the industry that the technology might be too expensive and difficult to get hold of, so the company responded by designing the MTH as a "bridge" to older memory chips.

Shipping of the new translation chip began in November last year, but it wasn't long before faults in the device were reported.

According to Graham Palmer, Intel UK's public relations manager, the company duly responded by recalling all of the motherboards sent out, and offered customers a replacement program, while setting about fixing the device. But complications in the process have since caused the company to give up on repairing its plagued translation hub, and Intel has instead said it will launch a new low-cost processor, called Timna.

While using the same type of translation capability as the MTH, the new chipset will probably be referred to as a 'memory interface device' to avoid any negative association with its failed predecessor, says Palmer. Timna is due to be released next year.

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