Spectre and Meltdown may force long term changes in CPU design

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In the post, Mark Papermaster, AMD's Chief Technology Officer, explains that Spectre variant 1 (Bounds Check Bypass or Spectre) applies to AMD processors, but it can be mitigated with an OS patch.

As a result, Microsoft temporarily halted Windows OS updates to devices with AMD processors affected by this apparent bug, including nine updates released since January 3 with the security-only Spectre and Meltdown update among them (KB4056897).

Intel confirmed that the Meltdown and Spectre flaws are slowing the performance of its devices.

At AMD, security is our top priority and we are continually working to ensure the safety of our users as new risks arise. What's more, the hit to "responsiveness", a more specific benchmark that Intel tested its chips for with the new updates, took a much bigger hit.

Anyone who writes software has to patch.

Despite this fixes, there seems to be an element of disagreement between Intel and Microsoft over the likely performance impact of the security updates. I am very proud of how our industry has pulled together and want to thank everyone for their extraordinary collaboration.

The flaws affect virtually all computing devices running on chips manufactured by Intel, AMD and ARM, although the worst - called Meltdown - largely just affects Intel.

Meanwhile, Krzanich could face scrutiny for selling down his shareholding in Intel as the Meltdown and Spectre debâcle unfolded. Nvidia said that its initial analysis concluded that updating the second Spectre variant (CVE-2017-5715) will require more investigation.

With all the press related to the Spectre and Meltdown CPU flaws right now, Intel must be feeling the pressure.

He added that Intel will "commit to working with the industry"- meaning to share their hardware innovations to help other companies deal with these kinds of problems. You get reliable intelligence and forecasts on more than a dozen factors that affect the economy and are critical to your business and financial success. Finally, apply in production and ensure you have a process to back out the patches if needed.

AMD shares dropped as much as 4 percent to $11.65 in after-hours trading after the company's announcement Thursday.

But how significant are these slowdowns expected to be? But strengthening Windows and CPU firmware against the second Spectre flaw slows down performance.