Intel Releases Fixed Spectre Patch For Post-Skylake CPUs

/ 4 weeks ago

Intel Spectre

Intel Patch Fixes Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake

Earlier this year, Spectre and Meltdown rocked the CPU world.  Intel has been working hard for a fix but unfortunately, the first fixes caused more problems than they solved. In fact, the bug fixes caused so many issues that Intel decided to pull back on them.Only last week, Intel reissued an updated fix, but just for Skylake CPUs. Today, we now have more fixes for the rest of the Post-Skylake lineup.

The new patch aims to fix the Spectre 2 bug variant. Spectre 2 targets the branch predictor of complex CPUs. By making a specific bad prediction, the malicious code can infer what is stored in other parts of the memory. Microsoft issued a software patch for Windows but caused performance drops. The new Intel patch promises to fix the bug and keep performance more or less the same as before.

Pre-Skylake CPUs Still Waiting

The original patch caused many systems to suffer boot loop issues. The updated patch for Skylake resolved all the problems and this new patch extends the fix. Covered under this patch are various Skylake variants, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake. It was interesting that Intel limited the first patch to just Skylake as the branch predictor should have changed for later processors. Perhaps this is due to an overabundance of caution after the previous gaffe.

For now, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell users are still out in the cold. One major problem Intel faces is the many design tweaks for these CPUs. Intel tweaked the architecture for each of the aforementioned CPUs, so they will likely need individually designed fixes. Hopefully, the company will get on this problem soon. These older designs lose more performance under the Microsoft patch so a fix is in high demand.


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