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Bug in Intel Atom C2000 series processors?

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by smithse79, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    I've not seen it mentioned over here just yet, but there is quite a bit of talk on the various IT /r/'s about something that came out in Intel's 4Q16 earnings statement about a problem in certain processors. It appears looking in this whitepaper: http://www.intel.com/content/dam/ww...ion-updates/atom-c2000-family-spec-update.pdf (AVR54 on page 34) that it's a bug in the Atom C2000 series chips. Most of the discussion so far has been surrounding Cisco equipment that seems to be using these chips. Apparently a lot of their mid to higher-end gear uses them. I'm more concerned because I know a lot of folks around here use them for low-power servers. Has anyone seen much about this outside the Cisco talk?
     
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  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    From what I heard this was mostly due to a specific implementation of the chips so I did not think it would impact most of STH readers.

    But as a FYI - Rangeley CPUs are used in all kinds of networking gear. I would not be surprised if switch management was not the #1 market for these things. Not just Cisco, I believe QCT, Arista and others use(d) them.
     
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  3. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    The issue I take with it, is that this is a Super Scary Bug^tm and Intel has not come clean with it at all. I've been impressed with Cicso's response once they found out about it. But Intel's has left something to be desired.
     
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  4. Drewy

    Drewy Member

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    Care to elaborate on those "specific implementations"?
     
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  5. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    @Drewy - I am not sure how much I am allowed to talk about publicly on it but there are use cases where it is likely to be a big deal, and use cases where it is unlikely to be an issue from what I understand.
     
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  6. Drewy

    Drewy Member

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    I guess a phone call to supermicro is on the todo list for the morning :(
     
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  7. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Ah, so there is some NDA info involved. I was curious where this was coming from. I hadn't seen anything from the normal sources about this, but there seemed to be a LOT of scrambling from Cisco and nobody else. I wasn't sure if it was conjecture on your part or if you had seen something we hadn't and weren't sharing. Now I think I know.
     
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  8. Evan

    Evan Active Member

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    Do Cisco really use these CPU except in low end devices like asa5506-x ? All the stuff I see seems to use Xeon
     
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  9. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Thats not all

    Clock Signal Component Issue
     
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  10. Evan

    Evan Active Member

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    From my perspective give still pretty much more low end stuff although does not really matter and the more common the component then it would mean a massive qty of items to be replaced assuming all are affected ?
    (I am sure Cisco sell a lot more ASA5506 etc than 5585 !)

    What's the deal with the bug is there a fixed version of the hardware / CPU or is it seemingly present in all c2000 cpu's ever and until now ?

    I guess the also found same bug in c3000 and that's one of the reasons for delay as well.
     
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  11. nj47

    nj47 New Member

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    From the linked doc:

    So while certainly not ideal, it doesn't sound like it's a security vulnerability with unknown repercussions - rather if it affects you, you will know because your server won't turn back on.
     
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  12. Jon Massey

    Jon Massey Active Member

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    #12
  13. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    I'd say less of a security issue and more of a stability issue. It's not like there is a gaping back door, your system just randomly won't turn back on one day... It's MORE secure that way ;-)
     
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  14. Drewy

    Drewy Member

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    I think I'm screwed. Supermicro want RMA's via dealers and I purchased mine out of the US since I couldn't get them in the U.K.
    have to check my legal recourse, but ultimately I guess I'll be running them until they die, if in fact they do.
     
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  15. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Where did you see that SM is doing RMA for this?
     
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  16. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Just had it confirmed that Supermicro will do an RMA for the platform level fix if a customer is concerned.

    Also confirmed that C2000 series products from Supermicro shipped from Jan 2017 onwards have the platform fix applied.
     
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  17. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Got a link to a white paper I can show my boss? Our physical domain controller is running on a C2758 from 2015
     
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  18. leonroy

    leonroy New Member

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    Don't suppose anyone knows whether the issue is exacerbated by something in particular eg. heat, power cycling etc.?
     
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  19. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    From an AC post at slashdot from someone that also sounds like they've avoiding an NDA:
    Depending on how true that is, it sounds like a design flaw in the C2xxx SoC itself (probably a gate too thin to take the clock voltage over a prolonged period) and thus any device with it will be affected.
     
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  20. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Did a post on this. It is all being NDA'd. It is not 18 months per failure like that AC posted. Period.

    The Intel Atom C2000 Series Bug - Why it is so quiet

    I think I lit a fire under some marketing folks today :) Do keep me posted if you hear of any other programs to replace.
     
    #20
    Hrast likes this.
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