Intel recently promised that all of its processors from the past five years would be protected against the Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities by the end of January, and this is proving to be more hard than expected.
A new version of the Meltdown/Spectre patches has been developed and is now in testing, Intel said.
Intel says that it has root-caused the issue on Haswell and Broadwell systems and that it has already issued a version of the fix to hardware partners, which are now testing it. Intel's official advisory to hardware partners hasn't changed: Don't issue anymore of the bugged update and start testing the new one.
"We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior", explained Intel VP Navin Shenoy.
In short, while computing device vendors and other Intel partners work with Intel to fix these issues at the top level and hopefully avoid these faulty patches, the firm also asking end users to stay away from the latest processor updates. Once that testing wraps up, the update will be made available for everyone. Much will depend on how the performance penalties and other questions shake out across AMD and Intel platforms as patches and updates continue to roll out.
More importantly, the exec says that Intel has finally identified the root cause of reboot issues on Broadwell and Haswell processors.
Meltdown removes the barrier between user applications and sensitive parts of the operating system. While Monday's announcement signals that the Broadwell and Haswell issues might soon be addressed, patches for systems using the latest-generation Skylake processors as well as systems older cores like Sandy Bridge are still problematic.