Intel CEO Comments Indicate Chip Issue May Cause Bigger Slowdown
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich prefaced his annual celebration of the future of technology with a warning, according to Bloomberg.
Software patches put in place to protect computers against a recently uncovered chip vulnerability will slow down machines, but have so far headed off any illicit efforts to obtain data, Krzanich said at CES. While Intel and others have previously downplayed the possible impact of the fixes, indicating that in rare cases computers might be slowed as much as 30 percent, Krzanich’s comments suggest that the problem may be more pervasive.
“We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent,” he said. “As a result we expect some workloads may have a larger impact than others. As of now we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to retrieve customer data.”
At CES, the Intel chief usually shows off how Intel chips have a future in new markets ranging from drones to cars. This time, he’s defending products that have long been the key components of most personal computers and internet servers. Krzanich thanked tech companies and others for ongoing efforts made to protect computers against the new threat. He said that Intel is working with them to lessen the impact of any fixes. He urged consumers to update their computers with new software patches that are being sent out to them.
Elsewhere in his presentation, Intel’s CEO showed off a self-driving car, part of a promised 100-vehicle test fleet. BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen will deploy technology from Intel’s Mobileye unit, Krzanich said. That agreement will cover 2 million vehicles, he added.
He announced Intel Studios, a one hundred-camera, 25,000 square-foot facility in Los Angeles that can be used to shoot scenes in three dimensions, letting directors and viewers to choose the perspective from which they look at a movie scene. He showed a typical Western fight scene then switched to the point of view of a horse that ran through a brawl between characters.
Krzanich also touted similar uses of technology that will help make the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea more interactive and the ability to shift the perspective on NFL games to get a better look at the action. Intel is also partnering with Ferrari’s North American unit to provide AI-related technology that will be used in an auto-racing series to enhance the experience of online fans.