Discovered late last year and published shortly after the New Year, construction defects of modern processors caused quite a serious turmoil in the world of new technologies. Security specialists immediately alerted that prepared patches for operating systems are only a half-measure, because the full protection against Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities requires a change in the processor architecture. Intel recently released financial results for the last quarter of last year and announced that they are working on new processors that will not be vulnerable to the discovered vulnerabilities.
Many people are dissatisfied with how Intel has extinguished the fire caused by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. In the Meltdown case, there was a lot of disinformation noise because the initial reports of a drastic drop in processor performance after the patch installation were not reflected in reality. The proof of this was even the users of macOS systems, who already received the patch in December last year. However, in the case of the other two vulnerabilities, which are known as Spectre, the situation looks much worse. Developed patches limit only the possibility of an attack. In addition, many specialists (including Linus Torvalds – the creator of the Linux kernel) commented negatively on the technical aspect of patches prepared by Intel. As if that was not enough, recently developed patches cause unstable work of computers with older Intel processors.
Intel is working intensively on new, safer processors
Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, said directly that new processors with hardware fixes for Meltdown and Spectre type security holes will be released later this year. They will be made in the 10 nm process. While Intel is still working on the development of processors performed in the 14 nm process, they may also be properly secured. The company’s financial results for 2017 are exceptionally good and the fourth quarter was record-high. All of Intel’s business divisions recorded a visible increase in revenue in 2017. All-season revenues of 62.8 billion dollars are 16% higher than those achieved in 2016. Intel also does not expect any financial side effects caused by the affair around Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities earlier this year.
Operators of large data centres will be certainly be interested in the new processors, because they will want to modernize their equipment to compensate for the drop in performance caused by recent updates. Perhaps in this case, Intel will prepare attractive offers in order to not to lose loyal customers. For home users, only patience remains. Manufacturers of processors (both Intel and AMD) assume that today’s known threats can be averted by software updates that will not have a visible impact on processor performance.
Source: Tom’s Hardware