Intel: Meltdown/Spectre patches also cause reboots on newer processors

When it was revealed last week that Intel was advising many of its larger customers to delay installing patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities due to a bug, the company had claimed only older Haswell and Broadwell processors were affected. It has now amended that claim after further internal testing.

The bug, which is causing many to experience an above-average number of unexpected reboots after applying the patch, was found to also affect some configurations of Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake chips in the company's internal testing, according to Vice President of Intel's Data Center Group, Navin Shenoy.

Unfortunately, the company has not yet identified what the root cause of the problem is, though Shenoy promised they are making significant progress in that regard. He added, "In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week."

The blog post also goes over Intel's findings regarding the impact of these patches on performance, specifically on servers running its latest two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable microarchitecture. Java-dependent and other workloads saw relatively minimal slowdowns of up to 4%. The most significant slowdowns occurred in I/O testing, with some particularly strenuous tests resulting in a decrease of as much as 25% in write performance.

Ending the post on a slightly more hopeful note, Shenoy suggested the company is looking at ways of alleviating the impact on performance in operations that were found to be significantly affected, and was considering other, less intensive means of mitigating these vulnerabilities, such as through Google's Retpoline approach.

Source: Intel via Engadget

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