Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Tuesday January 02, 2018

A Massive Intel Hardware Bug May Be on the Horizon

There is mounting evidence that an Intel CPU bug, which could have lasting consequences for Amazon, Google, and other major cloud providers, is about to be disclosed. While a fix is in the pipeline, people say that it could impose performance penalties of as much as 35 percent. AMD chips are reportedly unaffected.

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tl;dr: there is presently an embargoed security bug impacting apparently all contemporary CPU architectures that implement virtual memory, requiring hardware changes to fully resolve. Urgent development of a software mitigation is being done in the open and recently landed in the Linux kernel, and a similar mitigation began appearing in NT kernels in November. In the worst case, the software fix causes huge slowdowns in typical workloads.

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