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    SubjectRe: Linux & ECC memory

    On Thu, 14 Nov 1996, Kenneth Albanowski wrote:

    > I just recently saw an advertisement for a Dell computer with a P6
    > motherboard & CPU that includes "64MB EDO RAM with ECC".
    > Are there in fact x86 motherboards that support ECC RAM? Can such a
    > motherboard provide better error recognition & recovery then a simple
    > "parity error"?
    > Most importantly, can (does) Linux take advantage of this?
    > --
    > Kenneth Albanowski (, CIS: 70705,126)
    ECC is handled in HARDWARE. It has to be. The idea is try to fix bad
    memory fetches rather than just executing the NMI which would declare
    that the system is broken then halt. I have not looked at the Linux NMI
    code, but with many errors of RAM using ECC, the NMI would not be executed
    because the bad fetch would be corrected.

    Only motherboards that have ECC memory-controller chips would be able
    to take advantage of ECC. Basically, the EDO RAM provides extra bits
    which CAN BE USED by the ECC memory-controller to fix bad fetches. This
    is all transparent to software so Linux or any other Operating System
    would not even know that error correction had occurred (which is the
    whole idea).

    Dick Johnson
    Richard B. Johnson
    Project Engineer
    Analogic Corporation
    Voice : (508) 977-3000 ext. 3754
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    Warning : It's hard to remain at the trailing edge of technology.

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