Intel to start shipping Spectre / Meltdown immune chips soon

When Intel reports its fourth-quarter results Thursday, Wall Street analysts estimate the company will turn in a profit of 87 cents a share, on $16.34 billion in sales.

While Intel's immediate focus is on delivering better mitigation patches, the company has already begun working to incorporate silicon-based changes to future products that will directly address the Spectre and Meltdown threats, Krzanich said.

However, information about Meltdown and Spectre began to leak before the January 4 public announcement, and several companies have reported that patches aimed at addressing the vulnerabilities have created new issues like freezing computers and impacting antivirus products. PC World points out that Intel didn't address when exactly the new vulnerability-proof chips would land in the market, or how they'll target the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, as well as how the fixes will affect performance. Although he was "encouraged" to see non-PC revenues moving toward 50% of total revenues, but he sees earnings and free cash flow leverage and growth as still "limited", which is why he's still on the sidelines. It describes the security vulnerabilities we now know as Meltdown and Spectre, and when it planned to go public.

However, excluding the United States tax charge and other exceptional items, the company reported earnings per share of $1.08 for the fourth quarter.

The company's data-centric operations are obviously proceeding well, with its revenue in this space up 21 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared to an overall eight per cent rise. The company has generated a lot of not-so-great headlines in recent weeks over major security vulnerabilities in its processors.

Intel posted a nominal loss in the fourth quarter, of $687 million.

Additionally, Intel said the federal tax cuts President Donald Trump signed last month will cut its effective tax rate from 22.5 percent to 14 percent, producing a $1.3 billion windfall in 2018 alone. Krzanich said Intel has made progress on patching exposed computer systems, but said he's "acutely aware that we have more to do".

In after-hours trading, Intel's stock price is up 3.75 percent to $47 a share. These patches did not live up to the promise, but Krzanich is confident the flaws will not weigh heavy on Intel's financial performance.

Krzanich also said that DIMMs using 3D XPoint memory won't have any revenue impact this year.

"Intel PSIRT often releases Technical Advisories such as this one to inform customers that they may be affected by security issues".

The chipmaker is reportedly working on a new processor coming later this year.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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