After problems with the first Pentium chips in 1994, this time
Intel was ready. It was on-target with the Pentium II microprocessor
launch until 6 May when rumours that the chip made errors with certain
advanced calculations em-erged on the Internet. Eight articles led with
the error angle between 7 May and 12 May. Claims that the flaw also
beset the Pentium Pro, a predecessor of the Pentium II, appeared in two
In 1994, Intel stonewalled claims about calculation errors in the
original Pentium but was forced to replace chips at an estimated cost of
pounds 300 million.
A less belligerent stance this time led to seven articles featuring
assurances that the error would be solved. An article in the Wall Street
Journal (12 May) gave Intel the opportunity to substantiate the problem
along with plans to remove the error in future manufacturing and to
provide software developers with tools to create corrective programmes.
It appears that Intel has learnt some PR lessons.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.
Additional cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company.
’What The Papers Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.