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AMD starts delivering their own Meltdown and Spectre patches


The flaws were first reported on January 3 by researchers from Google's Project Zero and other academic and industry research partners - although major tech firms have said that they've known the flaws some months back.

Microsoft has also released patches for the flaws, but earlier this week admitted that its Spectre Variant 2 patch slowed down some personal computers and servers, with systems running on older Intel Corp processors seeing a noticeable decrease in performance.

Everyone is talking about Meltdown and Spectre, and for good reason.

Windows PCs are most vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, no matter if they are running on Intel or AMD chipsets.

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AMD's statement from Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Mark Papermaster, follows... The performance of Old Microsoft devices are hampered however some of the devices which runs on new hardware are also affected.

Unfortunately, any device that uses processors that have the flaw will eventually need to be patched.

Intel said that systems equipped with its latest 8th generation (including the Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake chips) will be see the smallest effect, with the expected impact being less than six per cent.

Spectre breaks the isolation between different applications. A patch for the first variant of Spectre (CVE-2017-5753) is included in today's update.

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Three firmware issues have been flagged by the company in updates released over the past week, according to a confidential document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Linux vendors are also rolling out patches across AMD products now. Meltdown is limited to just Intel processors.

Navin Shenoy, general manager of Intel's data centre group said the company had received information about the issue from customers and was discussing the problem directly with data centre customers.

Users of systems with affected AMD processors should make sure the appropriate firmware and software updates are applied when they are made available by Microsoft and AMD. As Thomas Lendacky, AMD software engineer and Linux kernel developer, wrote on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), "AMD processors are not subject to the types of attacks that the kernel page table isolation feature protects against".

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"This set of vulnerabilities was perhaps the most challenging and hardest to fix in a decade, requiring changes to many layers of the software stack". On the Radeon side of things, AMD does not use speculative execution and as a result, no GPU patches will be necessary.

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