Published in PC Hardware

Intel releases Cascade Lake fixes for Meltdown, Spectre

by on22 August 2018

More details expected at Hot Chips

Chipzilla has released hardware fixes for Meltdown and Sceptre for its server products.

The fixes will deploy with Cascade Lake, Intel's next server platform due later this year, but the company is finally lifting the lid on some of those improvements and security enhancements at Hot Chips this week.

The question is if the fixes will restore the performance that previous solutions have lost as a result of Meltdown and Spectre. Intel's guidance has insisted that performance losses should be in the five to 10 per cent range, depending on workload and platform, and with the understanding that older CPUs were sometimes hit harder than newer ones. Intel wasn't willing to say exactly what kind of uplift users should expect.

Lisa Spelman, VP of Intel's Data Center Group, told AnandTech that the new hardware solutions would have an "impact" on the performance hit from mitigation, and that overall performance would improve at the platform level regardless.

Variant 1 will still require software-level protections, while Variant 2 (that's the "classic" Spectre attack) will require a mixture of hardware and software protection. Variant 3 (Meltdown) will be blocked in hardware, 3a (discovered by ARM) patched via firmware, with Variant 5 (Foreshadow) also patched in hardware.

Last modified on 22 August 2018
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