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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
Fax : (508) 532-6097
Modem : (508) 977-6870
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Penguin : Linux version 2.1.9 on an i586 machine.
Warning : It's hard to remain at the trailing edge of technology.

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