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Intel releases Spectre patch for Skylake-powered machines

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Intel has released a new patch to update Skylake-based PCs to protect them against potential exploits based around the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws. 

The chipmaker had previously released a patch to address the security flaws that led to frequent reboots and stability issues (opens in new tab) to such a degree that the company later recommended that its users should not even bother installing it (opens in new tab).  The performance issues were even severe enough that Microsoft released its own patch (opens in new tab) which disabled Intel's microcode fixes. 

Now however, the patch has been reworked to just address systems running either Skylake-based Core or Core m processors.  Users with systems that have older Haswell and Broadwell chips will have to wait for Intel to release a separate patch though Intel has said that it is currently in the process of testing a fix for its older chips. 

Executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, Navin Shenoy offered more details on how the chipmaker is working to patch its processors in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying: 

“Earlier this week, we released production microcode updates for several Skylake-based platforms to our OEM customers and industry partners, and we expect to do the same for more platforms in the coming days. We also continue to release beta microcode updates so that customers and partners have the opportunity to conduct extensive testing before we move them into production.”

Intel's latest patch has been approved for the U, Y, H and S variants of its Skylake processors as well as for the U23e.  The company has also released a new document which details its current microcode revisions (opens in new tab) so that users can follow the chipmaker's progress as it works to patch its processors to protect them against Meltdown and Spectre based exploits. 

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.