Intel Fumbles Its Patch for Chip Flaw

Google We fixed Spectre and Meltdown with no performance loss

An Update on AMD Processor Security | AMD

Intel's fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre bugs are triggering processors released between 2013 and 2016 to randomly reboot.

Papermaster said AMD will release "optional microcode updates" to mitigate the Spectre vulnerabilities on systems running Ryzen and EPYC processors beginning this week.

In a on Intel's website, Navin Shenoy, general manager of the company's data centre group, said Intel had received reports about the issue and was working directly with data centre customers to "discuss" the issue.

Not only are users who applied these updates now facing notable performance degradation of their CPUs, some customers are seeing constant reboots in the wake of Intel's solution to the problem, something Intel addressed in its blog post.

Given Nvidia shares GPU architecture across all its graphics tech, from GeForce gaming cards to enterprise-grade Quadro and Tesla chips, it seems a whole host of Nvidia kit is affected by Spectre.

Even better news is that Google has open-sourced Reptoline so that other companies can take advantage of it in their own Spectre fixes.

Both manufacturers and platform developers have been patching the problems Spectre and Meltdown entail, to the extent that they can be prevented, but there's one new problem that appears after you've patched your system. Earlier this week, Microsoft temporarily paused the rollout of important security fixes for Windows 10 and 7 devices with AMD chipsets due to boot loop issues. Along with the performance hits, the patches can trigger system errors including the Blue Screen of Death in PCs running incompatible antivirus software or a small number AMD chips. "We expect this issue to be corrected shortly and Microsoft should resume updates for these older processors by next week". It also maintained that Meltdown isn't applicable to AMD chips at all. Cloud providers, which lease servers to multiple clients, are particularly at risk. You might have to wait a bit if you're a Windows user, though, since AMD is still working out distribution timing with Microsoft. "Rolling out these mitigations would have negatively impacted many customers", Ben Traynor Sloss, vice president of Google, wrote.

According to Intel, computers equipped with 8th generation (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) chips and sold-state-drives (SSDs) will see the least slowdown from the Spectrum/Meltdown update at less than 6%.

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