Intel is bringing hardware-level protection against the Spectre and Meltdown exploits to new eighth-generation Core and Xeon processors coming out later this year.
Intel's Xeon Scalable processors (codenamed Cascade Lake) and its eighth-generation Core Processors will ship with hardware-based protection in the second half of 2018, said chief executive Brian Krzanich in a blog post. The company has also released microcode updates to address vulnerabilities for all Intel products released in the last five years, Krzanich said.
Krzanich in January pledged to release processors later this year aimed at eliminating the threat posed by the Spectre and Meltdown exploits. His new blog post provided new details of that plan.
While hardware-level protection in the new Xeon and Core processors will guard against attacks from Spectre variant 2 and Meltdown variant 3, Krzanich said the company would continue to address Spectre variant 1 vulnerabilities with software patches.
The new processors will protect against Spectre and Meltdown weaknesses through a process called "partitioning," where "protective walls" are created between applications and user privilege levels to stop bad actors, Krzanich said.
While Krzanich didn’t provide any details on whether or how this fix would impact the processor's performance, he said Intel's "goal is to offer not only the best performance, but also the best secure performance".