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Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown headaches continue

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Meltdowns, suspect share dealing and class-action suits, it’s been an interesting 2018 for Intel so far, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better quickly.

Intel share price has been dropping all week, though this is unlikely to bother CEO Brian Krzanich after he conveniently offloaded before the news broke, as the company continues to struggle to deal with the vulnerabilities. Intel has continually told users to update their systems when prompted, though these patches aren’t solving the problem.

Patches released for Broadwell and Haswell processors are causing both PCs and data centre systems to reboot, which should be seen as a problem. Navin Shenoy, GM of the Data Center Group, feels he needs to calm the ship, but even a soothing note couldn’t stop the downward share trend.

“We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates,” said Shenoy. “Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data centre.

“We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels. We are also working directly with data centre customers to discuss the issue.”

We get the impression this is not the last of the bad news from Intel. The lawsuits are continuing to stack up, and with the persistent problem in the data centres, there could be some serious repercussions for the world’s largest chipmaker.

Elsewhere in the worlds of flaws and bugs, AMD has admitted it is not perfect. Intel might be taking the flak for the vulnerability, but AMD has snuck in an announcement that the flaw is effecting its processors as well. AMD’s Ryzen and EPYC CPUs are vulnerable to Spectre, though this has been an expert lesson on crisis management. Its products are still flawed, but it has managed to navigate the choppy waters without collecting many bruises.

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