Free advice to AMD on Barcelona

First off, it is worth noting that the handling of the problem is causing far more damage to AMD than the problem would … investment types call it loss of goodwill. This is the indication of something like a rudderless ship in motion. It needs to be corrected forthwith. Like yesterday.

AMD needs to

  • Make the patch available on its website
  • Hire some contractors to make patches for RHEL/SuSE/Ubuntu, as well as source code installable packages which will build against the kernel
  • Lose the warranty hole. This is a really, really bad idea. Find whomever came up with it, and gently escort them to the door.
  • Relax, and reverse the stop-ship.
  • Offer a trade in program after b3 ships for anyone for whom the patch is not working

Most folks in HPC won’t care about this, it won’t affect them. This is not like the Intel FDIV bugs, or some of the other bits we have seen in the past. Errata happen, and the response to this has been problematic for everyone.

The bug will not likely affect a majority of users, and initial indications are that the kernel patch works around the issue. Which means that you have lots of users out there wanting Barcelona, who can’t get Barcelona, and won’t be able to get it for a while.

AMD, we want the Barcelona, and the patch seems to work. Please, start shipping the units.

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