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Intel's 9th Generation Coffee Lake-R CPUs contain Spectre/Meltdown hardware fixes

Coffee Lake-R isn't just Coffee Lake with two more cores!

Intel's 9th Generation Coffee Lake-R CPUs contain Spectre/Meltdown hardware fixes  

Intel's 9th Generation Coffee Lake-R CPUs contain Spectre/Meltdown hardware fixes

Intel has confirmed that their upcoming 9th Generation 8-core Coffee Lake processors will ship with mitigations for some variants of spectre/meltdown, despite their use of the same basic Coffee Lake core architecture as their predecessors. 

This means that Intel's Coffee Lake-R 8-core i7/i9 processors will offer hardware mitigations for Spectre Variant 3 (Meltdown/Rogue Data Cache Load) and Spectre Variant 5 (L1 Terminal Fault/Foreshadow), with other variations being mitigated by Firmware and OS-level fixes that are already available with modern BIOS files and OS updates. 

Intel's planned 9th Generation Skylake-X refresh products will not offer the same hardware level fixes as their Coffee Lake-R-based counterparts, thanks to the fact that they use the same silicon as their 7th generation equivalents, albeit with refinements such as increased base/boost clock speeds and a soldered IHS. 

The downside of today's Spectre firmware/OS mitigations is their performance impact, with Intel's latest hardware-based fixes lowering the harmful effects of these side-channel remedies. Sadly, Intel has not commented on how much their hardware-level fixes have reduced these performance losses. That being said, these performance losses have been relatively unfelt within the consumer market.   


Spectre/Meltdown
variant
Skylake-X-RCoffee Lake-R Cascade LakeWhiskey LakeAmber Lake
Variant 1OS/VMMOS/VMMOS/VMMOS/VMMOS/VMM
Variant 2Firmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OS
Variant 3FirmwareHardwareHardwareHardwareFirmware
Variant 3aFirmwareFirmwareFirmwareFirmwareFirmware
Variant 4Firmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OSFirmware/OS
Variant 5FirmwareHardwareHardwareHardwareFirmware
 

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