It’s been another week, and Intel has another update on its buggy Spectre microcode patch for us. And it’s good news, because Intel has completed the fixed version of its patch for 6th-gen (Skylake, 100 series chipsets), 7th-gen (Kaby Lake, 200 series chipsets), and 8th-gen (Coffee Lake, 300 series chipsets) CPUs. This includes Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X (X299 chipset) CPUs, as well. Intel has updated its microcode update schedule accordingly. A previous version of this document leaked some details on two of the company’s next-generation Cannon Lake CPUs, which apparently also need microcode fixes for Spectre.
Intel’s Spectre microcode updates don’t go to consumers directly; they’re released to system and motherboard OEMs, who incorporate them into BIOS updates for their products. What Intel’s announcement means is that we should soon see OEMs releasing updates for products with those parts mentioned above.
This is just the latest development in an ongoing issue that began early this year with the reveal of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Intel’s initial fix for the issue, which was distributed en masse, was discovered to cause system instability on a wide number of CPUs. Intel has been busy creating a new version of the fix since.
The Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities are a major issue for the company because they affect almost all of its current and legacy products. The fallout from these revelations has included 32 lawsuits, so far. Intel has committed to fixing the vulnerabilities in hardware for its future CPUs.