Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Tuesday February 07, 2017

Intel Atom C2000 Chips Are Bricking Products

There is no good news here aside from the fact that Intel has acknowledged the issue and "set aside a pot of cash to deal with the problem." The failure of C2000 processors is kind of a big deal because it is pervasive in networking hardware. I know that some of you guys use, say, Synology NAS boxesآ—well, if it goes kaput, this may be why.

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Intel's Atom C2000 processor family has a fault that effectively bricks devices, costing the company a significant amount of money to correct. But the semiconductor giant won't disclose precisely how many chips are affected nor which products are at risk. Intel indicated in a January 2017 revision of its Atom C2000 family documentation that the chip line contains a clock flaw. Errata note AVR.54, titled "System May Experience Inability to Boot or May Cease Operation," explains that the Atom C2000 Low Pin Count bus clock outputs (LPC_CLKOUT0 and LPC_CLKOUT1) may stop functioning. Permanently. An Intel spokesperson in an email to The Register characterized the issue as "a degradation of a circuit element under high use conditions at a rate higher than Intel’s quality goals after multiple years of service."