Intel plays down speed impact of chip fixes - TechCentral

Intel plays down speed impact of chip fixes

Intel, trying to defuse concern that fixes to widespread chip security vulnerabilities will slow computers, released test results late on Wednesday showing that PCs won’t be affected much and promised more information on servers.

The chip maker published a table of data showing that older processors handled typical tasks 10% slower at most, after being updated with security patches. The information covered three generations of processors, going back to 2015, running Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Windows 7 computer operating systems.

“We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms,” Navin Shenoy, an Intel senior vice president who heads its data center unit, said in a statement. “We plan to share initial data on some of our server platforms in the next few days.”

Last week, the world’s biggest chip makers and software companies, including Intel and Microsoft, announced vulnerabilities that leave computers and smartphones susceptible to potential hacking. Google researchers last year discovered that features, present in almost all processors running computers and phones, could give cyberattackers unauthorised access to sensitive data.

Intel’s processors are at the heart of the majority of the world’s PCs and server machines making its assessment of the side effects of patching the vulnerability an important indicator of the extent of the issue. Microsoft gave a more pessimistic appraisal than Intel’s initial assessments, particularly for servers that form the backbone of corporate networks.

“As of today, we still have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data,” Shenoy said on Wednesday.  — Reported by Ian King, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP

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