Intel will not provide Spectre/Meltdown microcode updates for some processor families

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Intel gives several reasons, the foremost being that the "micro-architectural characteristics" of these processors mean that it's not actually possible to patch against Spectre Variant 2.

Its stated reasons also include that the products lack commercial system software support.

The reasons Intel gave for stopping these updates vary, from the possibility that patching Variant 2 of Spectre is just too hard based on the design of the chip in question, to limited availability of software support and the fact that some of the affected chips are powering "closed systems" - they're not connected to anything that could allow hackers to exploit them, so the risk is so small that administrators can avoid the fuss of implementing such a tricky update. They include: the Bloomfield line, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Harpertown, Jasper Forest, Penryn, SoFIA 3GR, the Wolfdale line, and the Yorkfield line. The processor features Thermal Velocity Boost, which automatically increases the clock frequency by up to 200 MHz so long as the temperature remains low, while its turbo boost frequency tops out at a whopping 4.8 GHz.

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Sensitive data protected by Intel's Software Guard Extensions could be open to a new side-channel attack.

A third point that the chip giant makes is that numerous computers running these processors are "closed systems" not connected to the outside world and so unlikely to be exposed to Meltdown and Spectre anyway. By transitioning to Apple's own chips, Apple would not have to rely on Intel's timeframe and could release new products and updates at their own pace.

Intel has announced the launch of its Core i9 processor for laptops at an event in Beijing, China.

What do you think of some Intel chips not being patched for Spectre and meltdown exploits?

And offers patching tips from US CERT, which it failed to brief on the bugs.

Intel released an update to the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation guide, revealing that it stopped working on mitigations for some processor series.

Now, financial analyst Wasmi Mohan - who works at Merrill Lynch - has added further discussion to the rumours by claiming that Apple would be able to boost productivity by making its own chips. Sandy Bridge is the oldest chip family that's guaranteed to get Spectre variant 2 fixes.

Our devices may never truly be secure, says the CEO of the company that designs the heart of most mobile chips.

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