Nvidia recommends not buying it’s defective chips

Bumpgate: Told ya so

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This article has had some of the original links removed, and was published on Friday, December 26, 2008 at 03:26PM.

Nvidia world iconIT LOOKS LIKE Nvidia finally has a solution to the defective chips fiasco aka “Bumpgate” that it continues to cover up. The short story, according to documents seen by VR-Zone, is to not buy those chips, just buy the newer ones.

No, really, I am not kidding. To quote some of the latest memo, “…..NVIDIA strongly recommends that customers transition to this latest revision of the NB8E-SET GPUs as soon as possible. These latest revision units utilize “Hitachi” underfill packaging material that improves product quality and enhances operating life by improved thermal cycling reliability.” We know what you are thinking, there is no problem with thermal cycling, they said so. Multiple times. With a straight face.

Then again, we did say we believed otherwise. And then Nvidia denied it. And so we printed copies of the technical documents about the problem that we saw, note the part about Hitachi underfill and the date of the document. (links removed) And once again Nvidia denied it again. We publicly mocked them, and so Nvidia spun harder. Whee, look, the shreds of the company’s credibility are twitching!

Now Nvidia is urging it’s partners to do what we said to do, not buy the defective parts, for the reasons we stated. What a shock, it is almost like we understood what the problem was, (Parts 2 and 3) even though they called everyone involved crazy. Luckily, Apple agrees with our version, read the knowledgebase neo-rant to see how Apple feels about this defect. Sadly for Apple, it is not just confined to the old MacBooks, but extends to their desktops as well, and likely continues into the shiny new unibody parts.

In the end, you can make up your own mind. From our point of view, this charade and cover-up has gone well past sad and into pathetic. Nvidia needs to come clean on this, but we don’t think the company is culturally capable of coming clean. Sad. No, pathetic.S|A

Author’s Note: Apple has pretty much dumped Nvidia internally from what we hear. We wrote it up earlier, and lo, there was laugher from the fanbois and heightened denial screed. Then again, they said the same thing when we pointed out what the now current MacBooks were going to look like months before they came out.

In the end, laptop designs are begun years in advance of the products hitting the street. If Apple or any other major OEM decides to do something now, you won’t see the result for at least a year, likely two. For some reason, fanbois just don’t understand this. It also doesn’t help Nvidia’s position that they don’t have a laptop chip that can do OpenCL, something that Apple is pushing very hard. Whoops.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

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Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate