Nvidia updates software amid worries over chip flaws

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"Our GPUs are immune", Jensen Huang, chief executive of Nvidia said during an event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, referring to graphics processor units (GPUs), the chip maker's key product line. CPUs are used on personal computers, smartphones, servers and other devices.

Nvidia's share price is recovering from a dip caused by the Spectre speculative execution security vulnerability - an issue by which, ironically, the company's primary products are not troubled.

The updates come because many CPUs from AMD, ARM, and Intel, are said to be vulnerable to the flaws found by the Google Project Zero back in June previous year. 'What we did is we released driver updates to patch the CPU security vulnerability.

It said it had no reason to believe the drivers were troubled by the second flaw, dubbed Meltdown.

"We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms", he writes in the company blog.

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The Ubuntu issue is the first case of users on Linux distributions experiencing problems with fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre bugs.

And just so you don't get the idea that Intel is sitting on its hands with regards to future products, the company says that it is making changes to its next-generation processors to "maximize security and performance". "But their processors like the Tegra and the Tesla, the ARM-based processors that they sell are going to be exposed to the Spectre exploits, just like everybody else".

Nvidia's latest batch of security fixes are targeted specifically at the software drivers that for graphics cards that run under third parties' operating systems, particularly Microsoft Windows.

Meltdown and Spectre patches for the Linux and Microsoft platforms are already available.

"This can end up being a potential issue in data centers and enterprise customers can take a pause in buying the servers", he said. Intel shares fell 2.5 per cent, while AMD, which investors speculate will benefit from its rivals' problems, gained 1.2 per cent.

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