Intel has confirmed that there is a bug that can freeze systems using its 6th Generation Intel Core processors, dubbed Skylake, when running certain workloads. Here are the details on the issue and how to fix it.
The bug was discovered by a community of mathematicians who uses a software called Prime95, which is particularly resource intensive, on Intel computers to find prime numbers. While running the program under certain settings, they found their Intel machines would lock up. The bug is reproducible when using the Windows and Linux operating systems.
(Added note: Prime95 is also a popular tool used within the overclocking and PC building communities to ensure the stability of a CPU at higher temperatures. If your system can survive a hefty run, chances are your settings are good -- because there's not much more that will tax all your cores as much as Prime95 can.)
The problem is suspected to lay within the Skylake architecture and Intel has confirmed the bug's existence. The vendor has stated that the issue isn't isolated to computers running Prime95. Scientific and financial institutions are also known to deal with complex computing workloads so the problem could affect a number of industries.
Here's what Intel had to say:
"Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel Core family of products. This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behaviour."
Intel has released a fix for the bug and is working with its PC partners to get the remedy deployed through BIOS.
[Via Intel Communities]