Earlier this month there was quite a fuzz about the Intel Atom C2000 as a bug in the chip's hardware was linked to abnormally high failure rates of certain networking gear from Cisco. The latter set aside $125 million to deal with this issue and is was suspected that other hardware makers could be suffering from the same problem.
Now we receive word from Synology that the company has investigated products with the Intel Atom C2000 series. The firm claims the erratum discovered in these Intel processors does not result in abnormally high failure rates.
Just like software, processors contain bugs but these errata usually do not cause a lot of issues as companies can typically implement workarounds via the BIOS or operating system. Most of these bugs do not hit mainstream tech news unless it's something very serious like the TLB bug in the B2 stepping of AMD's K10 processors almost a decade ago. The TLB bug became infamous because it caused AMD a great deal of trouble, that bug could lead to stability issues and the software-based workaround for the TLB issue had a major impact on performance.
While Intel did not release a lot of information about the bug in the Atom C2000 series, we do know that there's a fault with the LPC Clock Control that can brick devices because they will no longer be able to boot after this component has failed. There is no workaround for this problem.
Synology stresses that its products with the Intel C2538 processor meet the company's quality standards. As a result, Synology will not be recalling these products but the company did decide to extend the warranty by an additional year to put clients at ease. Synology seems confident its C2000 based devices will last at least three years without abnormal failure rates, but a peek at online forums learns users are concerned about the long-term reliability of these devices considering the more grave statements from Cisco and Intel.
Here's the company's statement:
Synology® Inc. is aware of a new processor erratum discovered in the Intel® Atom™ C2000 family. After in-depth investigation, the possibility of seeing accelerated degradation of a certain processor component is rare after prolonged and heavy usage. This erratum is not known to cause data loss, nor any safety hazards. Based on hundreds of thousands of shipped products equipped with Intel C2538 processors since 2014, Synology has not seen any abnormal error rates compared to products equipped with different Intel processors.
As of today, all products equipped with Intel C2538 processors are performing in-line with Synology's quality standards. As a testament to our confidence in Synology's product reliability, we are extending the warranty for Intel C2538 based products by an additional year. A dedicated service email, C2538@synology.com, has also been implemented for further questions.
The 1-year extended warranty only covers DS415+, DS1515+ DS1815+, DS2415+, RS815(RP)+, and RS2416(RP)+.
Since February 2017, suggested improvements from Intel are incorporated into current and future C2538 based hardware platform.
Serve the Home has more details about the C2000 issue and reports there seems to be an industry-wide NDA in place that prevents vendors from talking about specifics. Other vendors that used the C2000 include Supermicro, Netgate, QCT, iXsystems, ASRock.