SUMMARY: Weitek upgrade troubles

From: Jeremy Schneider (
Date: Fri Apr 14 1995 - 05:41:27 CDT

Original request follows:

> I recently installed Weitek Power uP chips in 26 SS2's. While the installation
> was remarkably simple, several of the machines have been very flaky lately.
> They'll panic at random times in various manners. I've seen "bad trap",
> "data fault", "memory alignment error", and maybe one or two other types
> of panic. The system utility "update" is usually the process running when
> the panic occurs, but this isn't always the case (I suspect "update" shows
> up often because it runs every 30 seconds). All SS2's have 32MB memory and
> are running SunOS 4.1.3 and OpenWindows 3.
> Has anyone else seen this kind of behavior? The first three SS2's (i.e. my
> development staff) were upgraded a few weeks ago and have been very stable.
> Only when I tackled the other 23 (i.e. user) machines did this problem surface.
> I guess that's typical though... I'm guessing the systems which are giving
> me problems are having some kind of timing problem with the faster CPU.
> Anything else?

As usual, I received many replies to the query. In addition, I spoke with
two people at Weitek about the problem. They've been *very* helpful and
believe they've traced the problem to a timing issue with their newest
(slightly faster) rev. of the Power uP on old SS2 motherboards. Not really a
case of a "bad batch" of chips, per se. Weitek will be replacing *all 26*
chips and the motherboard of the worst offender so that they can put it thru
the wringer.

One responder noted "Sun says these chips are not supported under 2.4",
although he was running them as such. I'll have to watch for this when we
make the OS jump shortly.

Advise to future upgraders: record the lot number of each chip *before*
you install it; you just might need it. Also, eat your Wheaties before
doing the upgrade as some of the SS2 original CPU's are *really* tight.

Thanks to:

Srinivasa R. Yalavarthy <> (Dan A. Zambon) (Nathan Cooper) (Zenon Dewicki ph3580) (Earl Zmijewski)
Darryl Wagoner <> (Mattias Zhabinskiy)
John Valdes <> (Celeste Stokely) (Bismark Espinoza)
Mary Lou Hinman <maryh@cea.Berkeley.EDU>
Brian Terry <> (Andy Feldt)
Michael Baumann <> (William Hiscox) (Jim Murff) (David Burwell)


Jeremy Schneider Northwest Airlines

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