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technical errata

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Technical errata is the documentation of unintended faults in hardware and software components. In publishing, an errata is a list of errors with their corrections. Erratas are typically inserted in a book or other publication as a separate piece of paper.

In computing technical errata commonly accompanies software updates to provide a description of known issues and bug fixes. Errata documentation often includes details for both the current version and previous releases of a product. The intention of gathering technical errata is to provide information about how design and production errors can result in unintended operations. For example, the original Pentium processors from Intel had technical errata in a hardware lookup table for division operations. The errors in the table meant that when floating point calculations were used for division on some numbers, an incorrect solution was given.

In addition to corrections, alternate measures, such as workarounds, are sometimes recommended in technical errata. Because technical errata can relate to potential security vulnerabilities, sometimes technical errata is not made public. Instead, only members of the software’s development community are given access to the documentation.

This was last updated in February 2019

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