Intel Pentium - 1994
Pentium floating point division bug

The Pentium FDIV bug was a computer bug that affected the floating point unit (FPU) of the early Intel Pentium processors. Because of the bug, the processor could return incorrect decimal results when dividing a number. Discovered in 1994 by Professor Thomas R. Nicely at Lynchburg College, Intel attributed the error to missing entries in the lookup table used by the floating-point division circuitry.

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The severity of the FDIV bug is debated. Intel, producer of the affected chip, claims that the common user would experience it once every 27,000 years while IBM, manufacturer of a chip competing with Intel's Pentium, claims that the common user would experience it once every 24 days. Though rarely encountered by most users (Byte magazine estimated that 1 in 9 billion floating point divides with random parameters would produce inaccurate results), both the flaw and Intel's initial handling of the matter were heavily criticized by the tech community. The man who found the bug points out that since it went unnoticed for a year in a popular product, that likely indicates that the bug was less harmful than IBM suggested.

In December 1994, Intel recalled the defective processors. In January 1995, Intel announced "a pre-tax charge of $475 million against earnings, ostensibly the total cost associated with replacement of the flawed processors."