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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 a reduction in performance?

Paired with the concerns about security from Spectre and Meltdown is a related issue: that removing the vulnerabilities can result in a hit to computing performance. This is because fixing the issue means putting limitations on something called "speculative execution" -- a feature that modern processors use to maximize performance, but that has turned out to be responsible for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Intel reports that it is working on ways to mitigate these performance impacts, but the question remains whether the next generation of Intel processors may actually end up being slower than the current generation.

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