Intel paid hundreds of millions of dollars to recall its Pentium processors after the 1994 discovery of the "FDIV bug" that revealed rare but real calculation errors. Meltdown and Spectre are proving damaging to Intel's brand, sending the company's stock down more than five percent.
This time, though, Chipzilla and its chums claim to have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates. Besides when you are talking 15 years of chips being affected there was never going to be any way Intel would have done a recall.
Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years. By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years. Also, many operating system vendors, public cloud service providers, device manufacturers and others have indicated that they have already updated their products and services
The question is whether these updates will transform PCs into shadows of their former selves and make them as slow as asthmatic ants with a heavy load of shopping
Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that effect.
Others are not so certain and want to see some benchmarks before declaring Intel safe. Intel said it continues to work with its partners and others to address these issues, and appreciates their support and assistance. Intel encourages computer users worldwide to use the automatic update functions of their operating systems and other computer software to ensure their systems are up to date.
System updates are made available by system manufacturers, operating system providers and others.
Initially, AMD told users its chips were not subject to the same sort of attacks as Intel's chips, but the company has since updated its stance to say its chips are only affected by some of the announced hacks, and these could be fixed with a simple software update. Engineers at Google originally detected the flaw and wrote in a blog post it could affect Intel, AMD, and ARM chips. Apple has confirmed all its Mac systems and iOS devices are affected.
The fruity cargo-cult said it had released mitigations to defend against Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. It will release mitigations in Safari to defend against the Spectre bug "in the coming days".
The Tame Apple Press has been doing its best to claim that Apple is less affected than anyone else because no one had been hacked using the exploit. One magazine even wrote the whole thing off as just a "scare".