AMD is also being dragged into court following Spectre and Meltdown reports

Adjust Comment Print

Data centre computers with Intel Corp's newer chips might reboot more often than normal because of problems with the patches issued to fix the so-called Spectre and Meltdown security flaws, the company said on Wednesday.

The chip giant then added that "similar behavior" occurs on some machines which have still-older Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (2nd and 3rd-gen) processors, but more worryingly, newer Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs (6th and 7th-gen).

Intel says that it has reproduced the reboot issues and is working on identifying the root cause. Shenoy noted that Intel has now delivered firmware updates to 90% of CPUs launched in the last five years, but one side effect of that roll out is that users have been experiencing frequent reboots.

The process of patching computer processors vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre threats is encountering a few bumps in the road. Intel's stress tests - which, in this case, means a 100% write case - showed an 18% decrease in performance, though switching to a 70/30 read/write model improved things drastically, bringing the performance hit up to 2%.

In fact, many vendors are continuing to develop and distribute patches for Spectre and Meltdown.

More news: Van Dijk reveals thoughts on £75m Liverpool price tag
More news: House passes spy program after confusion on Trump tweets
More news: Australia makes 304-8 in 1st ODI vs England

On Tuesday, as part of its quarterly patch update, Oracle released fixes for 237 flaws across its products, including its first batch of Spectre and Meltdown fixes.

Intel disclosed the security vulnerability earlier this month but disputed initial reports that the patch slowed chip performance by 30 percent. "To date, we have tested server platforms running two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable systems - code-named Skylake, our latest server microarchitecture", Shenoy says.

Intel has already said that it believes that there are other options that will mitigate the performance drop, most notably Google's Retpoline patch, which is said to have an nearly zero impact.

"Arm appreciates Congressman McNerney's long record of work on cybersecurity issues, has responded to his office to discuss next steps, and looks forward to a dialogue on our mutual goal of creating more secure devices", the company said in a statement.

The company is also looking at incorporating Google's Retpoline (return trampoline) software solution to mitigate the performance impact of the security patches.