History repeats

— 4:56 AM on December 2, 2000

Yahoo News is reporting that Micron AMD-based 760 systems have been halted for an expected six weeks. Apparently, during the validation of the 266MHz FSB, the MicronPC motherboard experienced levels of EMI beyond "anticipated" levels. Micron assures that a new motherboard was already in validation after having received assistance from AMD and Gigabyte.

Now for the larger picture.

From first read, it would seem quite clear that this is not a failing on the part of AMD or the 760 North Bridge. Yes, it is the 760 North Bridge which is generating the interference, but unless there is some sort of larger conspiracy here, the fix will come by applying higher quality hardware filters to help reduce signal noise and not from AMD with a new stepping of the 760.

On the other hand, this issue should sound somewhat familiar to a certain 751 North Bridge which also carried too much EMI against the AGP port. An issue that was, according to AMD, correctable by implementing additional hardware filters. The issue also seemed to have been corrected in later steppings of the 751.

This begs the question about the quality of the EV6. Are we still seeing growing pains for this new bus technology? Or is there something fundamentally more difficult in implementing this bus technology into motherboards today?

No matter what the answer, those of you who were hoping for a DDR motherboard under the Christmas tree may not get your wish. I would also have to advise that everyone take a close look at the offerings that do come out. As Micron has made clear, cost cutting on these motherboards will lead to issues.

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