HyperThreading Bug in Intel Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs

Intel’s been having a tough go of it lately with some of their silicon. First their Atom SoCs were causing some Cisco gear to brick back in February. Now comes this news of issues with HyperThreading on Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs. This seems limited to a relatively specific workloads, but has a wide range of effected processors. Most desktop CPUs in the last couple years, and recent Xeon E3s are all subject to the error.

A lot of organizations will be forced to do a firmware update, and until then will have to disable HyperThreading just to be safe. The issue is pretty nasty. At best it will cause a few more BSODs, but at worst could cause bad data. This puts businesses between a rock and hard place with what to do.

With AMD trying to reenter the enterprise market in a big way, it’s a bad time for Intel to be having such fundamental issues with their chips.

Howard Marks comments:

A warning appeared on the Debian Linux mailing list over the weekend that there is a bug in the hyperthreading logic in some of Intel’s latest processors codenamed Skylake and Kaby Lake. The good news for data center operators is that the E5 and E7 Xeons that populate the world’s 2 socket and larger servers are still using and older micro-architecture known as Haswell and Intel promises that the bug will be fixed in the upcoming Scalable Xeons promised any day now.


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About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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