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Intel plans to offload CPU malware scanning to iGPUs in new Spectre / Meltdown fix

Intel will eventually bake security fixes into its next-generation of silicon. (Source: Intel)
Intel will eventually bake security fixes into its next-generation of silicon. (Source: Intel)
Intel has responded to concerns that its software-based fixes for Spectre and Meltdown are hampering CPU performance. A future patch coming through Microsoft's servers will offload memory scanning to the iGPU
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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Intel has copped some flak for its Spectre and Meltdown patches which were necessary to patch flaws in its chip designs. While its chips are now protected, the software-based fixes have impacted CPU performance. Intel has now come up with a more elegant solution that offloads the processing required to scan for malware to its little used iGPUs.

Its new Accelerated Memory Scanning technology engages the integrated GPU that often sits largely idle in many desktop computers. Even notebooks that are utilized largely for Office-based tasks without a discrete GPU still have plenty of headroom in their iGPU for these processes. According to Intel, early benchmarking shows CPU utilization dropping from 20 percent to as low as 2 percent. When it rolls out as a new patch from Microsoft, the new tech will only work with Intel’s 6th, 7th and 8th generation chips.

Intel has made it clear that it will be redesigning the architecture of its future chips so that they are protected from attacks similar to Spectre and Meltdown moving forward. It will include a new suite of technologies that Intel is calling Security Essentials, which includes secure boot and hardware protections that will be baked into the silicon to stop software from being compromised via silicon-based attacks. This should eliminate the need for any software-based solutions from chewing up either CPU or GPU cycles.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1262 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 04 > Intel plans to offload CPU malware scanning to iGPUs in new Spectre / Meltdown fix
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-04-17 (Update: 2018-04-17)