Intel Haswell and Broadwell Reboot Issue Cause Identified

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After it acknowledged two weeks ago that its initial fix for the Meltdown and Spectre flaws was itself flawed for users of older systems, Intel said Monday it has identified the "root cause" behind the problematic patches and will roll out updated patches later this week.

The problem specifically involves PCs and servers on Intel's fifth generation Core Broadwell and fourth-generation Haswell platforms, roughly released starting between 2013 and 2015. In fact, an early version of the updated solution has begun rolling out to industry partners initially.

Intel's advice today is pretty much the same-it's advising OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, and software vendors to stop deploying the buggy updates, and to focus on testing early versions of the updated firmware.

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"We believe it is important for OEMs and our customers to follow this guidance for all of the specified platforms listed below, as they may demonstrate higher than expected reboots and unpredictable system behavior".

The company said the patches will be available after testing is completed. However, until then, Intel is changing their tune in terms of updating. However, Intel says it is also working to create a new version of its original update that removes Spectre variant 2-related fixes, but maintains Spectre variant 1 and Meltdown fixes. Recent statements from Intel and Microsoft confirm that some patches may cause a reduction in system performance, as patching the vulnerabilities means fiddling with processes that are created to speed up CPU performance.

Navin Shenoy, Intel's vice president of data centres, apologised for the the disruption and advised all users to stop applying the current patches. No word on a fix for other processors for now, but the founder will hopefully share more details soon. Intel says they were "working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues".