Apple's reported plan to ditch Intel for laptops wallops shares

Laverne Mann
April 5, 2018

In new microcode revision guidance released by the chipmaker, Intel added a "stopped" status to its microcode updates relating to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, which would suggest that it will have no patch to fully remove the vulnerabilities which blight a whole clutch of its processors.

The affected chips cover a broad range of families, many of which were released around a decade ago and some of which have ceased production in the meantime, so it's hard to say how many systems will actually remain at risk due to this change.

The Intel Core i9-8950HK features individual Turbo Boost-capable cores, which can be increased up to 4.8 GHz.

He believes that the "insourcing of chips could benefit Apple by not being dependent on Intel's processor cycles, by lowering the Mac costed bill-of-materials by ~$40-50, and by potentially streamlining and reducing R&D spend".

Intel has officially announced that it will not be releasing microcode updates to protect against the Spectre speculative execution vulnerability in its older processor families, including the three-year-old SoFIA Atom platform.

Intel also notes that there is "limited commercially available system software support" for these chips these days.

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Microsoft's Meltdown fix opened a gaping hole in Windows 7 security, warns researcher. The firm believes that if Apple stops buying its PC chips from Intel, it can make savings across the entire business.

Sensitive data protected by Intel's Software Guard Extensions could be open to a new side-channel attack.

Contrarily, Apple's iPhones and iPads have custom chips that use the iOS system, while Mac computers have Intel chips and run on a macOS system. With Apple's declaration of its chip manufacturing plans, a dip of almost 9.2% was observed in Intel's share price, the biggest drop since the last two years. As the problem is at the architecture level, it affects virtually all processors made within the past 20 years - not just from Intel but also other giants like ARM and potentially AMD.

What do you think of some Intel chips not being patched for Spectre and meltdown exploits?

Intel has warned that it nearly certainly won't be able to provide a fix for the second variant of the Spectre flaw for all but the latest of its desktop, laptop and server CPUs.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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