Bad news for anyone still rocking a really, really old Intel processor today, as the CPU giant has announced it’s going to stop developing microcode updates to deal with the ongoing security problems caused by Spectre and Meltdown for certain types of architecture. The news comes with the release of a new microcode revision guide that sets out the current schedule of planned updates for each type of affected CPU.
Posts Tagged ‘meltdown’
Good news for Intel fans this morning. PC security flaws and definitely not James Bond movie titles Spectre and Meltdown will likely be largely eradicated in future hardware releases, the CPU giant’s CEO Brian Krzanich has said in a blog post.
We suspected this would probably be the case when the flaws were first unveiled at the beginning of the year by Google’s Project Zero group, but now we know for sure. While one form of Spectre will continue to be addressed by software updates, the second Spectre variant and Meltdown will be dealt with the hard(ware) way, with Intel saying “we’ve made changes to our hardware design to further address” these flaws.
It’s a bad time to buy PC hardware right now, what with graphics card prices going through the roof due to crytpocurrency mining and practically every CPU on the planet being vulnerable to the recently uncovered Spectre and Meltdown CPU flaws. Fortunately, PC land’s CPU woes may not be around for much longer, as Intel’s suggested its new, upcoming Cannon Lake and Ice Lake processors won’t be affected by the same security exploits as literally almost every other CPU they’ve made since 1995. Thank the blessed silicon gods.
2018 in PC-land has been dominated by a lot of nervous sideways glances about whether or not the security flaw affecting pretty much every processor going is a clear and present danger or just Millennium Bug 2.0. Katherine has written us a good explainer for the CPU exploits known as Meltdown and Spectre, and the industry at large has been fast-tracking patches.
Sadly these bring with them a theoretical performance hit, although this seems negligible if not non-existent when it comes to games specifically. Rather more problematic is that Microsoft’s official fix for Windows has itself been causing chaos – to the point that it’s been hastily withdrawn for the clutch of AMD processors it’s been causing BSODs and bootloops on. Oops.
No one likes going back to work after Christmas. The early mornings, the ever-disappointing trains and having to deal with hordes of perpetually grumpy commuters… it all sucks. But just imagine coming back to the office only to discover that the things you make and sell to people all across the globe and form the basis of every PC in the known world have a major security flaw that you can’t really fix. And some of the fixes you can implement may put a serious dent in your PC’s performance.
That’s what happened to the CPU industry this week, and I can only imagine a lot of Intel, AMD and ARM execs are pulling what I’m going to call the ‘Total Recall Arnie scream’ this very moment. Happy New Year!