Intel will be melting down the spectre of insecurity later this year

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2018 - 12:45 PM |
Tagged: Intel, spectre, meltdown, rumour

Brian Krzanich, still the lead at Intel, announced that new Intel chips will arrive in 2018 which are immune to Spectre and Meltdown.  This is interesting in several ways, and may offer the first really compelling reason to upgrade an Intel system in quite some time.  It is unlikely this new processor will be Cannon Lake as it has been taped out for long enough there are accusations that Intel is purposely holding it back.  It could indicate that Ice Lake will arrive earlier than expected, both to resolve their architectutal flaws and as a counter to AMD's Ryzen and ThreadRipper or possibly only refer to a certain family of mobile or server chips.  It is also unknown what effect the changes will have on the performance of these chips.  The Inquirer would like to know ... about a few things, in fact.

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"INTEL CEO Brian Krzanich, he of the conveniently well-timed stock sale, has told investors that the company will launch chips immune to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities later this year."

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January 26, 2018 | 01:31 PM - Posted by ItWillTakeLonger (not verified)

New CPU Micro-Archs take a good long while to test and validate so I'll take some salt with that timeframe. AMD, Intel, and others have some speculative and branch prediction tweaking do do in their designs and maybe the OS could use its own cache/page table entries.

When caches/page-tables are shared resources among user space and kernel space code then things can become very complex in places where memory space protection is needed. So there will need to be barriers and tests set up in the CPU'c micro-code/hardware to make sure those pesky side channel leaks are not allowed to occur. Speculation and Branching need to have better barriers and checks if the Kernel space and user space code are mapped into the same address range(to avoid those costly context switches) in the shared cache and shared page table entries.

I'd rather that the OS in the future get its own cores to run on or that the OS get an OS instruction cache and an OS data cache that's seperate from the User Space software's instruction cache and data cache, including l2 caches. So it would probably better to give the OS its own CPU core/s and go with that.

MBAs and Marketing folks need to be removed from any direct management over any engineering/hardware security engineering and software engineering divisions with the Engineering folks reporting directly to the CEO. The CPU/GPU/Processor industry needs more engineers(Software/Hardware) represented on their BODs.

January 26, 2018 | 03:35 PM - Posted by CodeMonkeyX

So let me get this straight, Intel really screws up their chips and allows a huge security flaw through. I still have not seen firmware updates for any of my systems that I built myself, only for my Dell Laptop.

Now they are announcing a new chip that fixes their screw up, and I have to buy it from them? It might be nice to have a some kind of trade in program, or as a sign of good will release the new parts at a much discounted price so people can get them.

Also, if they really do have a new chip design that fixes this security problem then wouldn't that have had to be in the works for more than six months already?

January 26, 2018 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

It's that second question about the timing that I am most interested in.

The firmware updates are more or less currently on hold do to the reboot issue.  We will pass on info as it comes from Intel or mobo manufacturers.

January 26, 2018 | 06:14 PM - Posted by Mutation666

I believe the companies where aware of these issues for months now so it is possible.

January 26, 2018 | 08:56 PM - Posted by CNote

They will just tell you to disconnect from the internet... problem solved. /s

January 28, 2018 | 03:17 AM - Posted by Johan (not verified)

Sad to hear that PC Per is paid by Intel as AdoredTV has uncovered. I am sad to find out that you guys are influenced by the big guys like this. Very sad....

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