INTEL CEO Brian Krzanich, he of the conveniently well-timed stock sale, has told investors that the company will launch chips immune to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities later this year.
Krzanich made the announcement in a call with investors after Intel released its fourth quarter financial results.
Intel exhibited strong growth in the final quarter of 2017, with record quarterly and full-year revenue of $17.1bn and $62.8bn, respectively.
The company’s data-centric operations are obviously proceeding well, with its revenue in this space up 21 per cent in Q4, compared to an overall eight per cent rise.
Krzanich said, “The strategic investments we’ve made in areas like memory, programmable solutions, communications and autonomous driving are starting to pay off and expand Intel’s growth opportunity.”
Performance on the PC side of the business was less impressive, with quarterly revenue falling two per cent YoY to $9bn. Full-year revenue was up a modest three per cent.
It is Intel’s data-centric customers that are most vulnerable to the Spectre and Meltdown hacks, and even the patches are not without their drawbacks.
Krzanich acknowledged that software tweaking was not going to be enough to address the flaws, and said that new architecture is on its way.
“We’re working to incorporate silicon-based changes to future products that will directly address the Spectre and meltdown threats in hardware,” he said. “And those products will begin appearing later this year.”
The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were outed by Google last year, but only made public this month. Because of a flaw in current chip architecture, sensitive information like passwords could be revealed to other users on the same machine; even if that is a virtual one in the cloud.
This week, however, French publication LeMagIT claimed that Intel warned OEMs about the two chip flaws on 29 November, the same date that Krzanich flogged half of his Intel stock. µ
Source : Inquirer