Fix for System Crashes Caused by Intel Skylake Processors to Arrive via BIOS Update

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

It looks like even Intel’s latest Skylake processors aren’t flawless. The company recently revealed in the community forums that its Skylake processors suffer from a bug that can cause a system to freeze, when performing more complex operations.

The bug has been discovered by hardwareluxx.de and mathematicians form GIMPS (Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search), and it occurs when using the GIMPS Prim95 program, to find Mersenne primes. However, GIMPS noted that its Prime95 program works without any problems on all other Intel processors.

“Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel Core family of products. This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behaviour.”

Since Intel was well aware of the problem, the company quickly developed a fix. Intel is now working with hardware partners to distribute the fix through BIOS update.

It is unknown why the bug occurs, but it’s confirmed that it affects both Linux and Windows-powered computers that run Intel Skylake processor. Prim95 is a complex software used for benchmarking and stress-testing the computers. The program uses Fas Fourier Transforms to multiply extremely large numbers, and a particularly exponent size, 14,942,209, has been found to cause the system crashes.

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Unless you’re not using your computer for benchmark tests and other complex operations, you probably won’t even notice the bug, so average users shouldn’t worry about it. But it could affect other industries that rely on complex computer operations, like scientific and financial institutions.

So, if you’re using your computer for more complex actions, just check for updates, and if you notice the new BIOS update, the problem with system crashes caused by Intel Skylake processor will probably be solved.

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