Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Top 10 Software Bugs of All Time
Wired has an interesting list of the top 10 software bugs. Here is one that we all remember:
1993 -- Intel Pentium floating point divide. A silicon error causes Intel's highly-promoted Pentium chip to make mistakes when dividing floating-point numbers that occur within a specific range. For example, dividing 4195835.0/3145727.0 yields 1.33374 instead of 1.33382, an error of 0.006 percent. Although the bug affects few users, it becomes a public relations nightmare. With an estimated 3 to 5 million defective chips in circulation, at first Intel only offers to replace Pentium chips for consumers who can prove that they need high accuracy; eventually the company relents and agrees to replace the chips for anyone who complains. The bug ultimately costs Intel $475 million.