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Sun stumbles over Ultrasparc III

Sun Microsystems has hit problems with some of its workstations running the new Ultrasparc III processor.

Sun Microsystems has revealed a fault with some of its computers using the new Ultrasparc III processor. The problem which has affected initial models of the Sun Blade 1000 workstation, relates to the system’s pre-fetch pipeline control logic. This can cause problems with floating point calculations that are used in scientific and engineering applications.

The problem was discovered by Sun after internal diagnostic testing, and relates only to the initial batch of Sun Blade 1000s. Sun has released a patch, available online, although the software fix disables one of the features of the chip, which can reduce processor performance. A permanent fix is still being developed.

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