Intel abandons older chip Spectre patch plans

In new microcode revision guidance released by the chipmaker, Intel added a "stopped" status to its microcode updates relating to the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, which would suggest that it won't be issuing patches to fully mitigate the vulnerabilities affecting a large number of its microprocessors. Affected chip families that won't be getting an update include Bloomfield, Bloomfield Xeon, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Harpertown Xeon C0, Hapertown Xeon E0, Jasper Forest, Penryn/QC, SoFIA 3GR, Wolfdale, Wolfdale Xeon, Yorkfield and Yorkfield Xeon.

"As the PC gaming industry rapidly grows, Intel has seen increasing demand for incredibly fast laptops that can provide desktop-like performance for an immersive and responsive experience, including the ability to stream and record without compromising gameplay while still enabling portability", said Intel in the press release.

Indications are that Apple will first experiment with these chips in laptops before moving to the more challenging desktop computers.

The chips also bears the all new Intel Core i5+, i7+ and i9+ badges that will go on to support Intel Optane memory tech, allowing you to use the affordable Optane RAM so as to speed up the traditional hard drives for faster boot times, app launches and other such similar to the speed boost, that you get when you use the SSD instead of HDD.

Intel also notes that there is "limited commercially available system software support" for these chips these days. This is certain to bring a multi-step transition for Apple, and as expected by many a different display on software layout due to the major processor component that was Intel.

Intel didn't specify which reasons apply to which chips.

The new range is i9-8950HK processor that comes with six cores and 12 threads. In its inimitable way the Reg says that the 10 product families will be neglected by Intel fixers and patchers "in some cases because it's too tricky to remove the Spectre v2 class of vulnerabilities".

The performance impact of Meltdown patches makes it essential to move systems to Linux 4.14.

Intel released an update to the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation guide, revealing that it stopped working on mitigations for some processor series.

Great work on patching your own products, but why were smaller tech companies kept in the dark?

  • Fernando Stephens