I complained to anybody I know at Intel, and believe me, I know a lot of guys there. Finally I had a telephone conference last Friday with Howard High, George Alfs and Gary the engineer who had been at Kyle's place. I was told that Intel was still having full confidence in their Pentium III 1.13 GHz processor, but that further testing was still being conducted. You find more details about this conference call in the recent article
I had worked through the whole Sunday night to finish my article about AMD's Athlon 1100 and in the later morning hours I had to get a few things done in town. When I came back a few hours later I had a long message from Howard High on my answering machine. He stated that last weekend Intel had finally found out that the failures Kyle and I had seen are not due to conditions that are beyond spec of the 1.13 GHz processor, but consistent. He particularly pointed out the failure I had seen in Sysmark 2000 and the Linux kernel compilation. Therefore Intel had finally decided to advise its OEMs to put the shipment of 1.13 GHz Pentium III systems on hold. Intel also halted the production and shipment of their 1.13 GHz processors.
I called him back to get into another telephone conference with him, George Alfs and Christian Anderka. These are the basic messages:
- Further testing conducted on the weekend has confirmed the instability of the Pentium III 1.13 GHz as I had stated all along.
- Intel has decided in emergency meetings last weekend that the further shipment of this processor needs to be halted. OEMs were informed.
- The Pentium III 1.13 GHz will require a new stepping, which will obviously take some time. Until then this processor will be unavailable.
- Customers who own a Pentium III 1.13 GHz will be contacted to either get some kind of replacement or a refund. Intel states that the number of end users with a 1.13 GHz system is rather small. Our own estimates are between 10,000 and 20,000 shipped systems. Intel did not quote a number.
- Intel reacted 'that swiftly' because it wants to save its brand name.
There it was. Finally Intel had done what I had forecasted almost a month ago.