With Spectre and Meltdown coming into the spot light earlier this year, things have not been easy for Intel as Intel CPUs are the ones that are most vulnerable to these exploits which doesn’t help as majority uses Intel CPUs. Now Intel has rolled out Spectre microcode for its CPUs ranging all they way back to 1st gen core Westmere.
Microsoft has rolled out the Spectre microcode for Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Lynnfield and Westmere. The microcode will be available for these CPUs in difference stages of its development like beta and production.
While Microsoft hasn’t confirmed it yet but we speculate that the Spectre microcode for Intel CPUs will be protecting them against the Spectre variant 4.
With Spectre and Meltdown being disclosed, Intel has been in trouble and AMD Ryzen coming in, with better performance and competitive prices, doesn’t help the company as AMD has been slowly taking CPU market share to itself with the help of Ryzen.
Rolling out microcode for Spectre and Meltdown is the only thing Intel can do for now until it brings CPUs immune to these exploits on a hardware level in its next-gen lineup which is based on the 10 nm process node.
While Intel hasn’t revealed its 10 nm Cannon Lake CPUs but one 10 nm CPU, Core i3-8121U, has popped up in Lenovo Ideapad330 with a base clock of 2.2 GHz and 3.2GHz boost clock.
The chip also features 4 MB of L3 cache and comes with support for dual-channel DDR4/LPDDR4-2400 32GB. However the CPU doesn’t come with a graphics counterpart, well it does but it has been disabled by Intel for some reason.
Speaking of Intel CPUs, according to report from Mindfactory, Intel Core i7-8700K is still dominating the CPU market despite of the tough competition from AMD Ryzen APUs and CPUs. Not only that, the report suggests that Intel accounted for 55% of CPU sales while AMD accounted for 45% of CPU sales.
While Intel has been facing tough time but that hasn’t stopped it from investing in new projects as Intel is working on a discrete GPU of its own under the direction of Raja Koduri.