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Rambus Blog Post: The Next Vulnerability: Looking Back On Meltdown And Spectre One Year Later

By January 31, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

Around this time last year, two vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre became public. Discovered independently by multiple research teams, each flaw exposed critical vulnerabilities across a wide range of modern processors, including ones from major chip makers Intel and AMD, as well as several designs based on the ARM architecture.
Unsurprisingly, Meltdown and Spectre gained widespread attention. While they were not the first high-profile semiconductor security flaws that affected consumers, they represented a new class of vulnerability.  Spectre, in particular, arises from vulnerabilities inherent in performance optimizations that have been widely taught and deployed in high-performance microprocessors.
These challenges are going away as chipmakers and innovators collectively leverage open-source to develop better solutions and reduce time-to-market. The open source RISC-V architecture is particularly notable for its availability of unencumbered reference implementations and compiler/software support.  As a result, RISC-V greatly reduces the amount of ancillary work required for a processor security project, allowing design teams to move more quickly and focus on areas of innovation – including security.
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