AMD Shares Rise After Reports on Intel’s Chip Security Flaw

Semiconductor group Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.’s (AMD) shares lifted, after finding support on reports that some of its rival company Intel Corp.’s chips was flawed.

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Shares of AMD added 5.2 percent to $11.550 on Wednesday. It was up 4.4 percent to $12.060 during pre-market trade on Thursday.

Intel’s stock price on the other hand took a bad hit on the news. Its shares declined 2.4 percent to $44.18 in pre-market trading.

Intel Chip Security Reported to be Flawed

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The Santa Clara-based company’s processing chips were believed to have a design flaw, which has affected several computers’ memory.

AMD’s chips were not affected by the problem and the issue only involved Intel platforms. Repairs did not need to be enabled on the company’s hardware.   

Intel’s microprocessors are a vital part of the internet, corporate networks, and PCs. It chips hold over 80 percent market share and more than 90 percent in laptops and servers.

The company pointed out that hardware security is usually harder to work out than software.  

Even so, the fault has left computers’ kernel memory that is typically used to secure passwords and login details vulnerable for a long time now.

The vulnerability could also be controlled by malware and hackers, allowing them to take advantage of other security bugs.     

The report also stated that all computers with Intel chips from the past 10 years seemed to be affected. Programmers have been attempting for two months to overhaul open-source Linux’s memory system. Patches to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows and Apple Inc.’s OS X operating will be required as well.

The security updates will likely slow down performance of older machinery by as much as 30 percent.

Errors in microprocessors can be repaired by patches in the code that is used to connect with the rest of the computer.

If the flaw cannot be fixed in software, the company will then resort to chip redesigning, which is very expensive and time consuming.

Analyst Kevin Cassidy stated that developers need to separate the kernel’s memory from user processes to resolve the problem.

The kernel being in control of the processor is responsible for carrying out commands from a running program. Moving it to another address raises latency of the system, according to Cassidy.

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