Chip makers find patches for Meltdown and Spectre not so simple

Windows 10

Last week, Intel confirmed that only its older Broadwell and Haswell chips were facing unexpected reboots due to the Intel Meltdown and Spectre patch.

In his blog, Navin Shenoy, executive vice-president and GM of the Data Centre Group at Intel, says the company has now issued firmware updates for 90% of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years.

He added that the company will send out opening versions of fixes for the problematic patches to customers by coming week.

"We have reproduced these issues internally and are making progress toward identifying the root cause".

The good news is that for most tasks, Intel's data center benchmarks don't show a very big hit to performance. Systems running Skylake processors for online transaction processing - a rather large segment of the computing world - can expect to see a four percent decrease in performance thanks to the patches. As a typical example, Intel tested a system simulating a brokerage firm's customer-broker-stock exchange interaction and found it slowed the system by four percent. The slowdown might be as severe as 18 percent to 25 percent for some types for work comprising servers that store heavy amounts of data and try to retrieve it speedily, as company said.

Crisis PR textbooks will be written about Intel's response to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, which compromise the security of almost every Intel-powered computer built over the last 20 years. The Spectre flaw affected nearly every modern computing device, including those containing chips from Intel, ARM Holdings and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

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The fallout from the Meltdown and Spectre flaws continues after Intel admitted problems with the patches created to fix the exploit.

The problem with the statement stems from the "near zero risk" point at the end of it. Investors in AMD have felt that that part of the statement was false, misleading, and had resulted in them suffering from losses.

Following on from this news, Pomerantz LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of AMD shareholder Doyun Kim, who claims that AMD's initial statements regarding the security flaw were misleading and has led to stock value falling.

On the day Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

In fact, many vendors are continuing to develop and distribute patches for Spectre and Meltdown.


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