Intel Identifies Spectre And Meltdown Patch Reboot Bug Root Cause

Audrey Hill
January 23, 2018

However, Intel noted at the time that the general public was not directly affected, and recommended that home consumers continue installing patches put out by their system and operating system providers.

Now Executive VP Navin Shenoy has posted on the Intel Newsroom that they have now identified what is causing the problem. Recent statements from Intel and Microsoft confirm that some patches may cause a reduction in system performance, as patching the vulnerabilities means fiddling with processes that are created to speed up CPU performance. "I assure you we are working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues". He expected details on when updated patches might be released to be available later this week.

The company has found the root cause of the problem - at least for some of its chips - and is working on a new patch. For now, leaving processors unpatched means chips still have the Spectre and Meltdown design flaws.

"We have now issued firmware updates for 90 percent of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years, but we have more work to do", Shenoy said.

Indeed, in virtually the next breath after telling users not to install this particular patch, Shenoy advised users to keep their computers updated - a decidedly mixed message at best.

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In a blog post, Intel said new patches for Broadwell and Haswell-based computers - chips that are two generations removed from the current Skylake design - are being tested by "industry partners", which nearly assuredly includes the Big Three cloud computing providers in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google.

Intel recently published a press release to update the progress about the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws.

Intel first acknowledged the problem more than a week ago, saying chips in the company's lines called Broadwell and Haswell were causing problems after receiving updates.

The guidance applies to at least some of the processors from Intel's last several generations of chips, with affected models in the Broadwell, Haswell, Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Ivy Bridge families.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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