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Intel purportedly knew of architecture vulnerabilities months ahead of Coffee Lake launch

Intel purportedly knew of architecture vulnerabilities six months ahead of Coffee Lake launch (Image source: Intel)
Intel purportedly knew of architecture vulnerabilities six months ahead of Coffee Lake launch (Image source: Intel)
The PR blunders will likely haunt Intel for the rest of the year as fans ponder if the chipmaker could have delayed Coffee Lake even further to address the critical concerns at the silicon level.

Intel is off to a horrible start this year with the revelation of Meltdown and Spectre. Its CEO was discovered selling off all his shares he legally could mere weeks ahead of the January 3rd public announcement of the wide-reaching security flaws. Although nearly all modern processors are at risk, Intel will arguably be hit the hardest because of its market share and presence in both the PC market and business sector.

According to multiple reports, Intel was confronted by Google's Project Zero security team as early as June of 2017 to discuss the details of the vulnerabilities with the understanding that the information would be under embargo. Since we know that Coffee Lake was made available for desktops on October 5th, it would appear that Intel launched its next generation of Core ix processors fully aware of its inherent flaws. Most investors, of course, had not learned of the issues until earlier this month.

The timeline of events leading up to the official Intel PR statement is certainly suspect. The chipmaker could have potentially delayed the launch of Coffee Lake to address the issues at the hardware level instead of through micro-code updates that will ultimately carry performance deficits for its loyal enthusiast PC users and early adopters. Laptops sporting Kaby Lake-G and proper Coffee Lake CPUs are not yet in market, but they are likely to come very soon especially with CES 2018 right around the corner. The security holes will be the elephant in the room for all new releases coming this year.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 01 > Intel purportedly knew of architecture vulnerabilities months ahead of Coffee Lake launch
Allen Ngo, 2018-01- 6 (Update: 2018-01- 6)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.