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Nvidia's bad bump misery deepens ( May 2009 to ---? ) Failing nvidia chips....?)
The Inquirer ^ | Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 04:59 | Charlie Demerjian

Posted on 12/10/2009 10:25:35 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

A DOCUMENT HAS COME TO LIGHT that details the lengths to which Nvidia has gone to cover up the problems it has been having with its graphics chips.

The most recent lawsuit against it by the National Union Fire Insurance Company (NUFI) claims the company has withheld information on the nature of its bad bumps. The very same information it has withheld from us or any other nosy hack or awkward analysts.

The story was broken by a certain Mike Magee at TG Daily on Friday, and it has a lot of juicy bits. The short story is that the list of defective chips shipped by Nvidia goes back to the NV4x generation, and the list of OEMs affected counts ten and basically includes every Nvidia customer.

NUFI complains bitterly that Nvidia has been covering up essential information it is entitled to receive as Nvidia's insurer by refusing to disclose even the most basic facts about the company's GPU chip failures.

We had the same complaint. Let's go back over what happened so you can see the depths of this debacle.

On July 2, 2008, Nvidia issued an 8-K report that essentially said: "We have a big problem." But then it got really vague. Its 8-K mentioned devices "in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook systems." Nvidia also claimed that it didn't know why the problems were happening, saying, "We have not been able to determine a root cause for these failures." But was sure that it had fixed them. No, really, it said so quite explicitly. "All newly manufactured products and all products currently shipping in volume have a different and more robust material set," it stated.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: hitech; nvidia

1 posted on 12/10/2009 10:25:36 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: ShadowAce
Anyone know about this....?

prior article from the inquirer:

Nvidia chips show underfill problems


Bumpgate Electron microscopes reveal a lot

By Charlie Demerjian
Wednesday, 17 December 2008, 10:37

WHEN WE TOLD YOU about the 'bad bumps' in the Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch models the other day, we expected it to end there.

But as luck would have it, Nvidia pointed us to a much deeper problem that not only affects at least some of the Macbook Pro notebooks, but likely every other high Temperature of Glassification (Tg) underfill chip Nvidia makes.

Technical Background
To understand this article, you really need to understand the problem, so please read the technical three part series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) explaining what the problem is and where it occurs.

Nvidia's current problem stems from its half-hearted response to its earlier problem by only changing the underfill. Nvidia said that's what it did, both near the end of our initial Macbook article and in a later Cnet article here.

In that, Nvidia's Mike Hara said, "Intel has shipped hundreds of millions of chipsets that use the same material-set combo. We're using virtually the same materials that Intel uses in its chipsets." Note the word 'virtually'. The problem with this statement - other than his analogy being misleading and not addressing Nvidia's chip design problem - is that 'virtually' in this case means Nvidia missed a key coating component in its revised chip engineering design. It is NOT the same material-set technology as Intel, AMD, ATI and everyone else we talked with uses. Unfortunately for Nvidia, the coating material it left out is critical for the life of the chip.

Before we break out the electron microscope again, we feel the need to point out some of the things that Nvidia managed not to talk about in its purported explanation of the fix. It is sad to have to point this out, but underfill does not crack, bumps do. The bumps that cracked did so for a long chain of reasons that are explained in my earlier three-part article linked above.

2 posted on 12/10/2009 10:28:30 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: All
Making chips ain't easy....

Earlier article:

Why Nvidia's chips are defective


Part One A long and complex story

By Charlie Demerjian
Monday, 1 September 2008, 20:00

This the first part of a series of three articles getting to the nub of Nvidia's graphics chip woes. The series is the result of months of research conducted by diligent INQhack Charlie Demerjian, despite an in-box stuffed full of abuse. Part two can be found here and Part Three is here.

NVIDIA HAS RECENTLY been saying a lot about how it's chips are not bad, and giving people reasons about why the problem is contained. Unfortunately, these disingenuous half-truths don't stand up to an explanation of why this problem is happening.

3 posted on 12/10/2009 10:31:53 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sounds like a design rule violation on the passivation layer or lack there of.

Nvidia continues to have problems with its fab vendor and/or communication.

4 posted on 12/10/2009 10:34:58 AM PST by Zathras
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
ATI is no better, IMO, even worse.

I have a $3300.00 laptop that came with Radeon 9700 (R300) embedded. It has shorted out, overheated, and caused my lappy to become unusable three times.

This lappy has had the MoBo replaced by the manufacturer under warranty twice already, and it has gone bad AGAIN!

ATI will not give any consideration at all, even though they did replace Radeon 9700's in desktops with the 9800, R350, due to this very problem.

I have nVidia's in three of my desktops (two GT 8600's and one 8800) and I have had zero problems, and great support from them. In fact, Nvidia puts out new driver packages all the time, even focusing on special needs such as supporting Folding @ Home FReerepublic Folders

So, for me, I'll stick with nVidia for now. Just my $.02 worth.
5 posted on 12/10/2009 10:59:16 AM PST by papasmurf
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To: papasmurf
This is an education to read thru the technical papers...might account for why they are running late getting the new products out....

And another article:

Nvidia recommends not buying its defective chips

And they call this bumpgate


Bumpgate Told ya so

By Charlie Demerjian
Friday, 26 December 2008, 15:26

IT LOOKS LIKE Nvidia finally has a solution to the defective chips fiasco that it keeps covering up. The short story according to documents seen by VR-Zone is to not buy them, just buy the newer ones.

No, really, we're not kidding. To quote some of the latest memo, ".....NVIDIA strongly recommends that customers transition to this latest revision of the NB8E-SET GPUs as soon as possible. These latest revision units utilize "Hitachi" underfill packaging material that improves product quality and enhances operating life by improved thermal cycling reliability." We know what you are thinking, there is no problem with the chips, they said so. Many times. With a straight face.

Then again, we did say we believed otherwise. And then Nvidia denied it. And so we printed copies of the technical docs on the problem that we saw, note the part about Hitachi underfill and the date. And once again Nvidia denied it. We publicly mocked them, and so Nvidia spun harder. Whee, look! The shreds of the company's credibility are twitching!

6 posted on 12/10/2009 11:17:11 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: papasmurf
This problem seems to be more with laptops,...I have mostly nvidia video cards in my desktops...and have had no problems....

My HP Laptop does have an Nvidia card but doesn't get much usage.

Got to figure out what is in it....since this is the first I have heard of this problem...

7 posted on 12/10/2009 11:21:21 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: All
Note in here about Nvidia:

[Rumour] AMD to release Evergreen Mobile chips in January 2010


Published on Friday, October 30 2009 4:57 am by Sub

Following Nvidia's leaks of its "next-gen" GT 300M series, Nordichardware reports that ATI's DX11 mobile cards are arriving in January 2010. 

8 posted on 12/10/2009 11:32:30 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Quite honestly, I think this is really all about their insurance company not wanting to pay up. It is, afterall, solely based on claims made by them, and no one else, released to the media, and then made public.

nVidia gave them all of the information they requested, and now, the insurance company, National Union puts out a statement saying nVidia “flooded National Union with technical data”, and now they want different information. Information nVidia doesn’t have access to, and so they can’t give it to them.

They have been maneuvering and positioning themselves into a position of being able to get a court to exempt them from any liability.

Which is, exactly, what they’ve done.

“So National Union doesn’t want to pay up. It wants the court to declare it has no duty to indemnify Nvidia because Nvidia has breached the terms of the agreement.”

This isn’t about chips, it’s about money. Typical of insurance companies, they want their premiums, but they sure as heck don’t want to pay out on policies.

I live by the old Jamaican saying...”stick to da evil wot you know best, mon”. I’ve had problems with ATI, and I’ve not had any problems with nVidia. For me, the decision is clear.

Please do note that nVidia has stepped up and replaced all of the alleged cards, it’s money that the OEM’s want for lost business, labor, and suffered reputation, that’s in question now.

9 posted on 12/10/2009 11:59:39 AM PST by papasmurf
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I have a hp tx1200 notebook, was a beautiful, good laptop, 8 months into ownership, it dropped wireless then it dropped video. HP replaced the motherboard underwarranty, that fix lasted 8 months or so and did it again. I barely got 2 years of service out of this laptop and I swore off hp for ever. I usta buy only hp’s. I know its not totally their fault but they should replace/fix these issues not say that you are reading blogs and they never heard of an issue with the tx1200. they cant help it when their suppliers screw them over but they sure as hell could help out their customers. I have bought to Asus’s now to replace my hp’s

10 posted on 12/10/2009 12:05:17 PM PST by 09Patriot (You can take your change on down the road and leave me here with mine)
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To: 09Patriot

I wanted to add both of my asus laptops have nvdia graphics cards but they are asus mxm, removable so if they do crap out you can replace them. even tho one of them is a gaming laptop it gets very hot but supposedly it was designed to run 100c and it gets very close to it during gaming. these have been out about a year and half I hadnt heard of them failing just lots of complaints about it being a scorcher.

11 posted on 12/10/2009 12:13:34 PM PST by 09Patriot (You can take your change on down the road and leave me here with mine)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’ve had a string of GTX-280 cards just go purple screen of death.

No idea if it’s the same problem or not, but the new generation of ATI cards is better anyway.

12 posted on 12/10/2009 12:16:01 PM PST by Malsua
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To: papasmurf
Reading thru the papers,...sounds like to me there was a real engineering problem.

Acute for laptop products.

13 posted on 12/10/2009 12:22:46 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: texas booster

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

14 posted on 12/10/2009 12:33:18 PM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Reading thru the papers,...sounds like to me there was a real engineering problem.

No argument about that.

But, IMO, the insurance company is making it out to be a major catastrophe. Tell me, which manufacturer hasn’t had their own issues and had to replace tons of stuff?

As a consumer, I really don’t care who pays, as long as it’s not me. What’s important is that the consumer doesn’t pay, and is not brought into their internal machinations. Yet the insurance company chose to do exactly that.

This is bad for everyone.

15 posted on 12/10/2009 2:14:31 PM PST by papasmurf
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

16 posted on 12/10/2009 2:15:56 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: All; ShadowAce

Our other choice is ATI grapics chips and what I’ve seen is that drivers/support with those guys isn’t nearly as good as the luck I’ve had with NVIDIA.

Any other opinions here on NVIDIA/ATI?

17 posted on 12/11/2009 7:07:43 AM PST by expat_panama
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