Broadband routers that make use of Intel’s Puma 6 chipset, such as the one inside of Virgin Media’s latest SuperHub 3 cable router, appear to suffer from a nasty bug that causes latency spikes and packet loss. But don’t worry, a firmware update is coming.
Various models of router make use of Puma 6, such as the Arris Surfboard SB6190, the Hitron CGNV4, Compal CH7465-LG and several other devices from Linksys and Cisco. Unfortunately it’s been found that a glitch in this chipset causes latency and packet loss, which appear to be particularly noticeable on ultrafast broadband connections like the ones offered by Virgin Media’s fastest package(s).
According to The Register, the Intel x86 CPU inside the modem component of the router is taking on too much work while processing network packets. The result is that the chipset runs a high-priority maintenance task every few seconds, which briefly occupies the CPU and this in turn causes a momentary spike in latency (increases of 200 milliseconds+) and some data packets end up being dropped. Not good for multiplayer video games.
An Intel Spokesman said:
“We are aware of an issue with the Puma 6 system-on-chip software that impacts latency and are working to address it.”
Some of Virgin Media’s customers claim that the issue was first spotted all the way back in 2015, during early trials of the SuperHub 3 hardware, although this appears to have become more noticeable now that the chipset is in mainstream use. But when is the new Firmware actually due to drop? Nobody seems able to say, yet.