[Beowulf] Node Drop-Off

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Dec 4 10:09:09 PST 2006

At 07:15 AM 12/4/2006, Tim Moore wrote:
>Update to node drop-off:
>The AMD engineer with whom I talked was amazed that such CPUs made 
>it beyond quality control.  He also suggested that the vendor may 
>have inadvertently mixed returned (previously fetermined to be 
>flawed processors) with the new ones and sent them out (again) as new.
>Just for future reference...is there an easy way to determine if a 
>CPU is flawed with 2 weeks of down time and extensive hair extraction????

This has been a persistent problem in the industry for decades.  It's 
not unheard of for wholesalers to get batches of processors that have 
been remarked somewhere along the line.  They'll run at the speed at 
room temp, but not over the entire temperature range, or, maybe with 
some bus loading conditions.  Obviously, the mfrs hate it when this 
occurs, and so, they've been doing things like making the speed grade 
readable from some built in ROM or as a bond wire option.

And, as much as the mfrs hate it, there's always the "fell of the 
back of the truck on the way to the disposal company" problem.. parts 
that don't pass the mfr inspection are supposed to be destroyed, but 
sometimes aren't.

Processors are a high dollar item for something quite compact, 
they're sort of commodity (at least as far as the end user is 
concerned), so they're ripe for all the fiddles that have been used 
on such items for millenia.  Hey, didn't Archimedes get famous for 
devising some sort of test along those lines?


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