The Spectre and Meltdown CPU flaws have shaken the industry, but companies are rushing to release patches that address the problems. At Intel’s CES keynote, CEO Brain Krzanich reiterated that the firm would patch 90 percent of all processors affected by the exploits released over the last five years by the end of the week. The remaining 10 percent will be patched by the end of January.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the patches is the effect they will have on system performance. “We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload dependent,” said Krzanich, adding that “some workloads may experience a larger impact that others, so we’ll continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads over time.”
While Spectre and Meltdown are a concern, Krzanich said there are still no known cases of them being exploited. “As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data. We’re working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way.”
The CEO was careful not to apologize for the design issues. He said collaboration between tech companies to address this “industry-wide problem” was “remarkable.”
While those with CPUs made over the last five years don’t have long to wait for the patches, there’s no word on when older processors will be patched.
Last week, it was revealed that Krzanich sold $39 million worth of Intel stocks and options back in November when he knew about the vulnerabilities. Intel claims the sale was part of a planned divestiture program (PDP) and had nothing to do with the flaws.
Make sure to check out our Patched Desktop PC: Meltdown and Spectre Benchmarked feature to see how the OS-level patch and a firmware update affects a system’s performance.