Whether you believe CTS Labs’ intentions were honest when it revealed a number of bugs in AMD’s Ryzen and Epyc chips earlier this year, the bugs are certainly real. Real enough that AMD has been working to get them fixed and we’re almost there. Reportedly, the required firmware updates and patches are with distribution partners and will be released to the general public in the near future.
2017 saw the revelation of two major CPU bugs: Meltdown and Spectre. Although AMD wasn’t affected by Meltdown, Spectre was a problem, and a whole lot more exploits were soon discovered in AMD’s Ryzen and Epyc CPUs. While there has been some speculation as to whether the revelation of such bugs was designed to manipulate stock, that isn’t particularly pertinent to the affected AMD users around the world.
Fortunately, AMD responded swiftly. Following some investigation into the matter by TomsHardware, AMD claims bug fixes are only just around the corner. While CTS Labs has asserted that some of the “Ryzenfall” bugs, like “Chimera,” would take months or even hardware revisions to fix, AMD is far more confident.
“Within approximately 30 days of being notified by CTS Labs, AMD released patches to our ecosystem partners mitigating all of the CTS identified vulnerabilities on our EPYC platform as well as patches mitigating Chimera across all AMD platforms,” AMD said in a statement released to Toms.
Those patches are said to be undergoing the final testing phase at the various AMD “ecosystem partners” and will soon be released to the public. AMD went on to suggest that all other Ryzenfall bugs had fixes that were in the works and would be released shortly to board partners for validation.
Although this doesn’t give us a specific deadline for when third-party manufacturers will release their versions of the updates, nor which ones have received the firmware tweaks from AMD, it is encouraging. Combined with news from AMD’s chief technical officer in March that bug fixes for AMD hardware would not impact performance, it could be that the Ryzenfall bugs may not end up being as dramatic as initially thought. Certainly, the fallout from Spectre and Meltdown is likely to be felt far further into the future.
Updated 05/04/2018 to clarify AMD was not affected by Meltdown.