Chip makers find patches for Meltdown and Spectre not so simple

Mobile devices are even more vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre than computers

The chip giant then added that "similar behavior" occurs on some machines which have still-older Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (2nd and 3rd-gen) processors, but more worryingly, newer Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs (6th and 7th-gen). Shenoy noted that Intel has now delivered firmware updates to 90% of CPUs launched in the last five years, but one side effect of that roll out is that users have been experiencing frequent reboots. We don't know when an official patch for the problem will be launched, but Intel says it will be delivering microcode to its vendor partners for validation next week. "To date, we have tested server platforms running two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable systems - code-named Skylake, our latest server microarchitecture", Shenoy says.

In other words, the Spectre and Meltdown fixes are like any other system update: They'll likely have more of a performance impact depending on how well your PC maker has adapted them to your hardware. "Generally speaking, the workloads that incorporate a larger number of user/kernel privilege changes and spend a significant amount of time in privileged mode will be more adversely impacted", he said, which pretty much echoes what we've heard before.

This means AMD might not have been as secure as it had been claiming since the Meltdown and Spectre issue blew up for Intel. Another test that simulated online transactions at a stock brokerage showed a four percent slowdown, the company said. More analytics testing is in process and the results will be dependent on system configuration, test setup and benchmark used.

Things are a little less encouraging when we shift to benchmarks for storage.

The story was different with I/O loads, however. When CPU utilisation was low (100% read case), as is the case with common storage provisioning, there was an increase in CPU utilisation, but no throughput performance impact. Using SPDK vHost (basically, virtualising it), had no specific impact.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is not as insulated from the recent central processing unit (CPU) security flaw debacle, as the CPU manufacturer is now facing two class action lawsuits like its competitor Intel.

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