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5 Questions About Intel's Hardware Fix For Spectre And Meltdown

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is pledging silicon-based fixes to address the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, which has raised a number of questions.

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Will there be supply constraints?

Demand could be unprecedented for the new processors, with every IT vendor on the planet anxious to provide their own customers with products that are secured against Spectre and Meltdown. (Swan's prediction that the processors will be available "in the latter part of this year" may only raise the anxiety level.) A major question is whether Intel is in a position to meet the demand -- and if not, which customers might take precedence in receiving the limited supply. According to Intel's annual 10-K filing for 2016 (the 2017 filing isn't available yet), Intel's three largest customers are Dell (accounting for 15 percent of Intel's net revenue), Lenovo (13 percent) and HP Inc. (10 percent).

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