Intel and AMD to include silicon-based changes to counter Spectre threat

While AMD be will including these changes in its upcoming Ryzen chips based on Zen 2 architecture, Intel will be including changes in its chips coming later this year.

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2018
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2018
Intel and AMD to include silicon-based changes to counter Spectre...

Earlier today, during an earnings call, AMD CEO Lisa Su talked about the company’s future roadmap. On the topic of Spectre, she said that in the longer term AMD will include changes to future cores, starting with the Zen 2 microarchitecture design which according to a leak is supposed to launch in 2019. On the Intel side, CEO Brian Krzanich also noted during the company’s earnings call that Intel has already started working on new hardware level changes and products based on the same and that they should be here by the end of the year.

At the moment, we are not sure whether Intel will include a hardware level fix to the newer chips in the current Coffee Lake lineup or will the fix come with upcoming Canon Lake lineup of processors, which may get announced in the latter part of this year. As for AMD, the leaked roadmap suggests that the company will launch new Ryzen processors this year based on the company’s new Zen+ architecture, which will bring performance boost and support the AM4 socket. The Zen 2 microarchitecture with the hardware levels fixes for Spectre is supposed to come out next year since it will be based on the 7nm manufacturing process, which is still a newer technology for processors. 

It should be noted that while both Intel and AMD are affected the Spectre bug, Intel chips are also susceptible to Meltdown. AMD notes that its chips are only affected by the 2nd type of Spectre bug which is very hard to exploit to start with. The difference is due to the microarchitecture of these chips and how the two architectures made by the two companies work.

It has been a wild ride for companies affected by the Meltdown and Spectre bugs found last month. The biggest problem of all is that companies are working frantically to push out software mitigations to seal a flaw on the hardware level ]resulting in lower processing speeds. The first patch that was put out by OS makers had some booting issues, which are being corrected and companies like Microsoft have started to push out updated patches.

Source: Kitguru 1, Kitguru 2

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