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Engineering and Construction
Pages 3 (753 words)
Ethics Paper: The Intel Pentium Issue (Name) (Class) (Professor) (Date) Abstract This paper analyzes the case against Intel Corporation in 1994 when they released computers containing a flawed microprocessor with an added feature called the FPU. Intel's actions and responses will be compared against the guidelines set by the IEEE's code of ethics.
However, the microprocessor's flow in calculating long divisions causes minor errors not usually noticeable to most computer users. For example, the accurate answer for a division equation should be 2.345678, but P5 will come up with the answer of 2.345699. (1) The error is very minor, come to think of it, and Intel testers have realized and reported this problem to the Intel managers even before the microprocessor was released in the market that year. However, there was no significant reaction from the Intel managers to resolve the issue because “no one would really notice the slight error.” Months after, math professor Thomas Nicely of Lynchburg College noticed an error during the calculation of “reciprocals of a large collection of prime numbers on his Pentium-based computer.” (2) The professor wrote to Intel but did not receive any response from them, which prompted him to post on the internet about the issue. It then became a global issue against the corporation. Obviously, bylaws seven and nine of the IEEE code of ethics were broken in various ways. ...
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