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."