Intel Confirms Skylake Can Freeze PCs

Intel Confirms Skylake Can Freeze PCs
By The original uploader was VD64992 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Intel has acknowledged that its 6th generation Core Processors dubbed Skylake have a bug that can freeze systems under certain workloads. This problem could affect a large number of industries, including scientific and financial institutions, as they deal with complex computing workloads at times.

Issue could affect several industries

A community of mathematicians which uses a resource intensive software called Prime95 on Intel computers to find prime numbers discovered the bug when they noticed that their Intel machines would lock up on running the program under certain settings. The chip maker has already asked users to contact their OEMs for a fix.

It is suspected that the problem is with the Skylake architecture. This issue is not limited to computers running Prime95, according to the statement the vendor gave. The bug appears to be affecting both the Windows and Linux operating systems and is appearing on different motherboards, sort of confirming the issue with the chip.

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Confirming the issue, Intel said, “This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behaviour.”

Intel has already released a fix for the bug, and is in talks with its PC partners for adding the fix via BIOS.

Intel unveils three new Compute Sticks

Separately, the high-end gaming and mini-PCs (in the NUC form factor) are the two areas witnessing growth in the desktop PC market. And Intel is working on becoming a system vendor in the space. The NUC form has gained a lot of popularity, and Intel’s partners such as Zotac and GIGABYTE have both been very successful with systems of similar size.

ARM SoC vendors were the ones to start the HDMI stick trend, but Intel seems to be enjoying it more. At CES 2015, the chip maker joined the game with the Bay Trail Compute Stick. And now at CES 2016, it announced three new Compute Stick models, showing its commitment to the smaller form factor.

On Friday, Intel shares closed down 1.04% at $31.51. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 9%, while in the last month, it is down by over 9%. In pre-market trading today, the stock was trading up.

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