Why don’t PCs use error correcting RAM? “As a result of Intel,” says Linus

We've been enjoying a kinder, gentler Linus Torvalds for the past couple of years... but that doesn't mean he stopped having <em>opinions.</em>

Enlarge / We have been having fun with a kinder, gentler Linus Torvalds for the previous couple of years… however that does not imply he stopped having opinions. (credit score: aaltouniversityace / kjerish)

This Monday, Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds went on a annoyed rant in regards to the lack of Error Correcting Checksum (ECC) RAM in client PCs and laptops.

… the misguided and arse-backwards coverage of “shoppers do not want ECC”, [made] the marketplace for ECC reminiscence go away.

The arguments in opposition to ECC had been all the time full and utter rubbish. Now even the reminiscence producers are beginning to do ECC internally as a result of they lastly owned as much as the truth that they completely need to.

In case you’re not aware of ECC RAM, it is in all probability since you do not construct or spec devoted servers utilizing server-grade CPUs and motherboards—which, sadly, is about the one place you truly discover ECC. In a nutshell, ECC RAM features a tiny quantity of additional reminiscence used for detection and correction of errors.

Reminiscence errors and likelihood

In most fashionable implementations, this implies for each 64-bit phrase saved in RAM, there are eight checking bits. A single bit error—a Zero flipped to 1, or a 1 flipped to 0—could be each detected and corrected mechanically. Two bits flipped in the identical phrase could be detected however not corrected. Three or extra bits flipped in the identical phrase will in all probability be detected, however detection isn’t assured.

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