When chips go bad

Doghouse – Chip Replacement

Article from Issue 209/2018
Author(s):

Chip replacement isn’t always the answer.

Last month, I wrote about the Meltdown and Specter issues. The vendors and the community are working hard to evaluate the whole problem and see what types of solutions exist.

Many people are demanding that the chips be replaced. While this would be wonderful, in reality it is unlikely to ever happen, for many reasons.

This problem has been going on a long time, over many iterations of chips. The fabrication plants for creating the older chips have started making more modern chips. Going back in time to replace these older chips would be difficult, and even if the chip makers could do that, many of the chips are soldered to the motherboard. Removing the chip from the motherboard and resoldering it would be very expensive. Even if replacing the chips could be done, unless the chip is an exact replacement, the motherboard circuitry could be different, and the instructions to boot and run the operating system would have to change.

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