Intel Firmware Updates and Initial Performance Data

Posted January 19, 2018

Specifically, the lawsuit accuses AMD of providing a "misleading" statement; it states that AMD had allegedly supplied false statements in regards to its vulnerability to the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws. "But we have more work to do".

"Intel recommends that these partners, at their discretion, continue development and release of updates with existing microcode to provide protection against these exploits, understanding that the current versions may introduce issues such as reboot in some configurations", the chipmaker said, in a blog post. "In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week", he added.

Intel promised to be transparent about its progress to address the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws, but it has been quite a bumpy road so far. Now that it has managed to reproduce the problem internally in an effort to fix it, the company found that a similar behavior can occur in platforms powered by Skylake and Kaby Lake, which are newer than Haswell and Broadwell. Intel also said it had initiated updates for 90% of its processors that are up-to five years old.

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Updating processor firmware to address the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities has been problematic for Intel. Lisa Su says that their processors are as good as Intel processors.

Intel says workloads with more user/kernel privilege changes and which spend a lot of time in privileged mode are more adversely impacted.

But Oracle and many other vendors have yet to publish a full list of affected products or a timeline for when users can expect to see patches.

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Tests were conducted by the company on Intel's Skylake two-socket Xeon processor systems, its latest server microarchitecture.

The impact appears to be minimal in most cases, with Intel seeing a 0-2 percent performance on industry standard measures of integer and floating point throughput, Linkpack, Stream, server-side Java, and energy efficiency benchmarks.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is not as insulated from the recent central processing unit (CPU) security flaw debacle, as the CPU manufacturer is now facing two class action lawsuits like its competitor Intel.

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Google last week urged the whole industry to adopt Retpoline because it mitigated the attack but had nearly no negative performance impact on current hardware.