Intel Identifies Meltdown-Patch Reboot Problems in Broadwell and Haswell Chips

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Despite the reboot and performance issues, Intel recommends OS vendors and users to update their PCs as soon as possible to avoid any possible exploitation of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

Intel has a pretty big Spectre/Meltdown problem on its hands. 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. Intel says they were "working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues".

Shenoy also posted updates on the performance tests they were conducting in data centers. "Over the weekend, we began rolling out an early version of the updated solution to industry partners for testing, and we will make a final release available once that testing has been completed".

Shanoy said Monday it has figured out why the patch is causing unexpected reboots for some of the affected chips, and it will use that information to release an updated patch in the future. The progress we have made in identifying a root cause for Haswell and Broadwell will help us address issues on other platforms.

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Intel pumped the brakes on updates to some of its processors Monday, telling phone and computer makers as well as users to stop updating systems until Intel finishes investigating why the patches were causing devices to reboot unexpectedly.

In addition to the firmware update releases by chip vendors, operating system vendors have released updates for the Meltdown and Spectre attack methods.

And you can be fairly sure that Torvalds is not happy with the release because everyone has been busy dealing with the fallout from Meltdown and Spectre, even though the impact on Linux is minimal. However, it appears to be problematic for those on Broadwell or Haswell. If your processor is not on the reboot issue list however, Intel still suggests to "vigilantly maintain security best practice" and keep systems up-to-date. Last week, however, we found out that the issue is affecting patched Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms as well.