A flaw has forced Intel to halt shipments of its fastest Pentium III processors.
Although the 1.13Ghz chip is not yet in full production, system makers IBM, Dell and Compaq have been taking orders for systems featuring the processor, but have not shipped any. Intel is now recalling the chips and has warned that it would take at least two months before shipping restarts.
The flaw was discovered when some Linux-based test software malfunctioned on the Pentium IIIs at specific frequencies and temperatures.
The problem comes to light just days after Intel chief executive Craig Barrett admitted that the company has made a series of blunders that have allowed AMD to become a significant competitor.
"I don't believe in bad luck. It was a series of management blunders - we kind of dropped the ball," he told reporters at last week's Intel Developer Forum in California.
Those blunders include a bug affecting Pentium's maths function and the May recall of its 820 chipset motherboards.
One analyst, however, put the problem with the Pentium IIIs down to Intel trying to drag more and more performance out of the x86 architecture. "The architecture in these Pentiums is 25 years old and it's time to move on to a new one," said Drew Peck, an analyst with SG Cowen.
Separately, Intel cut prices of some of its processors. The price of a 1Ghz Pentium III has dropped from $990 to $669 for volume orders.
Both announcements came on the same day that AMD announced full-scale shipments of its 1.1Ghz processors.
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