New Intel chips with built-in protections against Meltdown and Spectre are coming later this year

Laurent Giret

Intel logo

The recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre security flaws are going to affect chip makers for a very long time. So far, Intel has been struggling to fix the vulnerabilities on recent chips, issuing flawed firmware updates causing reboot issues. Following the publication of Intel’s quarterly earnings announcements, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich addressed the disaster during a conference call on Wednesday, saying that the company was “working around the clock” to fix the exploits (via Business Insider).

The Meltdown and Spectre security flaws affect almost all processors released over the past 20 years, and both Intel and Microsoft acknowledged that firmware updates would cause performance slowdowns (especially on older PCs.) Krzanich acknowledged that the security vulnerabilities will force the company to change the design of its chips going forward.

During the conference call, the exec said that Intel has “assigned some of our very best minds” to work on “silicon-based” changes that will provide built-in protections against Meltdown and Spectre. The first chips featuring this updated architecture will start shipping later this year, according to Krzanich.

Despite the whole thing being a PR disaster for Intel, the company promised to be transparent about its efforts to fix the security flaws. This is the only viable strategy if the chip maker wants its customers to keep trusting Intel premium chips going forward.