Next Batch Of Intel CPUs Will Have Redesigned Architecture; Protection Against Spectre


Microsoft has created a new class of bug bounty specifically for speculative execution bugs like January's Meltdown and Spectre processor CPU design flaws.

Mitigations against the three variants of the flaws, dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, have proven problematic for Intel and its hardware and software partners, with system instability and degraded performance being reported by customers with the first lot of updates. The chipmaker's 8th generation of Intel Core processors will also include these same protections when they ship in the second half of 2018. The first phase in dealing with Meltdown and Spectre was to patch vulnerabilities as best as possible through software updates, but now Intel has designed a permanent fix for its upcoming chips.

Intel has forwarded these CPU microcode updates to OEM manufacturers that will now have to re-release them as BIOS or motherboard firmware updates, and make them available to end users.

Intel wants computer users to know that, albeit hopeful, it's not promising the moon with its new chips.

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By The original uploader was VD64992 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIntel experienced some serious setbacks late a year ago when Google Project Zero revealed some major flaws with its chip designs, but now, the chip maker is getting back on track.

It's the hardware changes Intel has in mind which are arguably more interesting, however.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has said that Intel is making changes to its hardware design to prevent this from happening in the future. Our goal is to offer not only the best performance, but also the best secure performance.

Krzanich says that the newly redesigned parts will have features that protect against different variants of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. The company has now released functioning microcode updates for all of its products launched during the past five years.

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"But again, our work is not done", Krzanich added.

Microsoft is now basically acknowledging this by launching a new bug bounty program, rewarding anyone who finds Meltdown, Spectre or other similar vulnerabilities.

Intel concludes its blog by stating that this is a "long-term commitment", and that its "work is not done" just yet. One that we take very seriously.

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