back to article Intel's dying Atom chips strike again: Netgear recalls four ReadyNAS, Wi-Fi management lines

Netgear on Thursday said that four of its product lines may experience "higher-than-normal failure rates" and that it is contacting affected customers to assess whether replacement or repair is appropriate. "While this situation is not an immediate cause for concern about the operation of any of these models, we understand …

  1. Cirdan

    Gimme an "A"....

    Gimme an "M"!

    Gimme a "D"!



    (lover of underdogs)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gimme an "A"....

      That must be the most idiotic reply EVER heard on ElReg, considering the trash they have been making over the years (Athlon XP etc)...!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gimme an "A"....

        "That must be the most idiotic reply EVER heard on ElReg"

        I don't think so and given the cloak of anon, I suspect you are not too convinced by your own nonsense.

        I'll see you down by the bikesheds at 0600 tomorrow. You choose the compiler, I'll choose the fatal OOPs.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: Gimme an "A"....

          Athlon xp wasnt rubbish. It was a budget chip that performed well enough for the price. Afterall the cacheless celerons at the time were fairly crap. The athoon x2s were decent enough for the price too.

      2. Dave K

        Re: Gimme an "A"....

        Ahh yes, whereas Intel with the processor serial number scandal, dodgy dealings with Rambus, P3 1.13GHz recall, the whole of the terrible P4 line-up etc. was just doing superbly all along right?

        Oh, and the Athlon XP for a sizeable chunk of its lifespan was the fastest x86 CPU available...

  2. redpawn

    Can't tell you...

    but the problem chip comes from a company that sounds like "Sin Tell". I'ts a corporate sin to tell who is at fault.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I applaud Netgear

    Meanwhile Netgate deal with the issue in their very own way by shutting down support forum threads:

    "Thread locked.

    Due to the increasing amount of false information spread by individuals with questionable intentions this thread is now locked. We encourage all Netgate and pfSense customers to contact us via official support channels if they have any doubts or questions.

    Opening a new thread will result in a 30 day ban."

    Very poor form!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I applaud Netgear

      ".... questionable intentions...."

      Such as asking "Do Netgate systems currently for sale have a fix for the C2000 issue?"

      Should be a simple YES/NO question.

      The way companies handle such issues really show up who the Cowboys are...

  4. Sierpinski

    Inquiring mind would like to know...

    "Intel's chip errata, published in January, identified the B0 stepping of Atoms in the C2000 range as having faulty clock outputs that fail far sooner than they should."

    How soon should an Atom processor fail?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Inquiring mind would like to know...

      Well, the 6502 in mine from 1981 is still chugging along ...

    2. The Unexpected Bill

      Re: Inquiring mind would like to know...

      A properly designed integrated circuit ought to last for many years, if not decades.

    3. PNGuinn

      Re: Inquiring mind would like to know...

      "How soon should an Atom processor fail?"

      "How often should an Atom processor fail?"


      Answer: 1.0432 times.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Inquiring mind would like to know...

      "How soon should an Atom processor fail?"

      In other words, what's their half-life?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on my empirical data

    Ouf of four "dead" Atom AOA1xx netbook boards, only one was utterly stuffed.

    One was the bad BIOS IC problem, one had a defective graphics issue which I repaired

    by replacing two capacitors and the third had memory controller problems.

    Might have just been a bad socket because it worked with my test 256M stick but not a 512, 1 or 2GB.

    The really bad one had low core voltage but no bus activity.

    Strangely enough the BIOS chip from dead board *4 worked fine in the bad BIOS IC one.

    All had broken sockets which I bypassed with some solder-fu.

    Since bought another two more recent duocore units, of these one works fine but has bad controller IC so no network or SD slot, the other *seems* working but again has liquid damage.

    Caveat: may not be relevant but still useful. I suspect the problem isn't the clock generator but in fact the output circuitry on die.

    1. P0l0nium

      Re: Based on my empirical data

      I would speculate that its a "capacitative load" issue caused by driving a large copper track up and down with a fast transistor. The inrush current spikes can get very large and cause elecromigration in the power rails. The QA meeting must have been interesting:

      "You overloaded the output transistor"

      "No we didn't"

      "Yes you did ... for 3 Nanoseconds every clock pulse :-)"

      Would explain why costs are being shared. Cisco took a $125M hit last quarter on this issue. Intel's share was undisclosed but large.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Based on my empirical data...a "capacitative load" issue

        Why would a microcontroller clock circuit be driving a large track load? I don't know if this Atom device has an external CLKOUT but if it does, surely any sane designer would buffer it before driving anything that looks like a bus?

  6. Korev Silver badge

    Jonker said Netgear takes pride in its supplier relationships and is working with them to provide the best experience for customers.

    Like the customers who want their router cracked by unwittingly entering a URL?

    1. paulf

      Especially when there's no fix available because said Netgear router has been EOL'd 12 months after launch because they've released a v2 of the HW that now gets all the updates.

  7. Howard Hanek


    What's the atomic structure of YOUR brick?

  8. kain preacher

    Will this cause the atom line to be branded a failure ?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      No it i will cause this one to be marked as fissile matter

      Or may be cold fusion - fuses by itself into a lump

  9. paulf


    Another reason I'm glad I stuck with my ancient (6+ years) and relatively slow SPARC powered ReadyNAS duo units.

  10. kain preacher

    You know AMD does make Athlons that match the Atom TWD

  11. Eddy Ito

    When the clock strikes?

    Perhaps someone did the math wrong when setting up the chip's planned obsolescence counter.

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