Intel’s Next-Gen Processors Will Include Protection Against Meltdown and Spectre at the Silicon Level

Posted on March 15, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware with 5 Comments

Intel: Updates Will Make Chips "Immune" From New Security Vulnerabilities

Intel has been under a lot of fire ever since the disclosure of two of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities affected almost all CPUs in the world, and Intel faced a lot of hurdles making patches available for the flaws.

Today, the company’s CEO announced that the firm is continuingly working hard to protect their customers from the vulnerabilities. In addition to providing improved fixes for one of the variants of the flaws, the company’s next-generation of processors will include silicon level fixes to protect against the other two variants.

Intel says the company is developing a new partition system that will help protect against these vulnerabilities. The enhancements will be available on its next-gen Xeon Cascade Lake processors, as well as the 8th gen Core processors that start shipping in the second half of this year. “We have redesigned parts of the processor to introduce new levels of protection through partitioning that will protect against both Variants 2 and 3. Think of this partitioning as additional “protective walls” between applications and user privilege levels to create an obstacle for bad actors,” the company said in a statement.

Intel continues to urge users on existing processors to update their systems to protect against the vulnerabilities, although the update rollout still continues to be a mess. 

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Intel’s Next-Gen Processors Will Include Protection Against Meltdown and Spectre at the Silicon Level”

  1. Bill R

    I assume this means that they have intercepted current projects in process rather than wait for the next gen design. That's good, but I'm still waiting for the microcode patch for my Skylake CPU.

  2. Martin Pelletier

    And I hope that Intel customers wont have to change motherboard just for that. Both AMD and Intel will have to make trade-up programs.

    • wright_is

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      They are providing mitigation microcode for most processors from the last 10 years, so as long as your OS or motherboard manufacturer pass on those updates (and Linux Kernel and Microsoft both provide these microcode updates in their supported versions), the the PCs should be (relatively) safe. The OS and the applications will also need patching.

      The question is, how much performance will be robbed by the patches, as to whether it is worth upgrading to a new PC - and that is when you can think about suing Intel, but if the system is over 5 years old, I would guess the chances of success are relatively slim.

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