Over the past several weeks, Intel has been developing and validating updated microcode solutions to protect customers against the security exploits disclosed by Google Project Zero.
Navin Shenoy, executive vice-president and GM of the data centre group at Intel, says the effort has included extensive testing by customers and industry partners to ensure the updated versions are ready for production.

“Based on these efforts, we have now released production microcode updates to our OEM customers and partners for Kaby Lake- and Coffee Lake-based platforms, plus additional Skylake-based platforms,” he says.

“This represents our 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core product lines as well as our latest Intel Core X-series processor family. It also includes our recently announced Intel Xeon Scalable and Intel Xeon D processors for data centre systems.”

In most cases, the new microcode will be made available through OEM firmware updates.

“I continue to encourage people to always keep their systems up-to-date. There is also a comprehensive schedule and current status for planned microcode updates available online,” Shenoy says.

“We are mindful of the fact that, in some cases, there are multiple mitigation techniques available that may provide protection against these exploits. This includes ‘Retpoline’, a Google-developed mitigation technique for Variant 2.”

Intel recently published a new white paper on Retpoline.