The procedure of spotting and fixing CPUs after Spectre and Meltdown has been one extensive discussion that microprocessor experts are yet to agree on. It requires a lot more research and talks among experts to come up with the ultimate solution. Before exploring the suggested solutions so far, it is essential to understand what happens for a CPU to be considered as having Spectre and Meltdown.
Meltdown and Spectre are flaws that cause attacks that exploit the speculative execution feature of microprocessors where the processor assumes which instruction branch to take and execute. This means, the bugs result to one browser tab being able to see the contents of another or one virtual computer spying on another.
Experts have severally insisted that hardware and software developers need to work together more closely and perhaps consider a total redesign of modern microprocessors. This would be the best solution in the long run and would involve a complete redesign of the computer architecture, which is the process through which a processor performs the software instruction set. Modern chips have been created to fit the needs of the original model. If this basic model proves to be flawed, it is time that a new one is developed. Meltdown and Spectre are flaws in the design of modern chips and can be corrected by designing a new model.
Other suggested solutions include avoiding the speculative execution feature by incorporating slower and secure execution features, making use of randomisation and designing better hardware protections. Intel, AMD, and ARM insist that mitigation of these flaws is the best solution in the short run.
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