Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 00:42 UTC

A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December.

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features - such as PCID - to reduce the performance hit.

That's one hell of a bug.

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RE[3]: Microcode
by Kochise on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microcode"
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Well, a cpu is not a fpga, the whole logic is not reprogrammable. The microcode allows to modify/patch the isa, but the main 'engine' (composed of the 'alu', the 'execution unit', ...) have to be hardwired somehow.

Good explanation here :

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