CES 2018: Intel CEO Vows To Fix Meltdown And Spectre Issues


While the Tangle Lake chip is solving something completely different - the quantum computing challenge of working in extremely stable environments - it's also addressing what has remained the main objective for Intel when it comes to chipmaking: processing speed, and in the case of quantum computing, parallel processing speed, a "fundamental, scientific engineering challenge".

Two U.S. lawmakers are asking federal regulators to open an investigation into stock sales that reaped a $25 million profit for Intel's CEO several weeks before the company disclosed a serious security flaw threatening millions of computers, phones and other devices.

In his speech at CES, Krzanich introduced the newly established Intel Studios - a new state of the art studio dedicated to the production large-scale content for the next generation of immersive media.

Other advanced computing systems being tested by Intel include neuromorphic computing the form of its artificial intelligence (AI) test chip Loihi, which was announced in September.

At the same CES event Krzanich disclosed that with Intel being the technology partner during this year's winter Olympics being held in Pyeongchang, the chip maker would offer the biggest ever virtual reality experience in some 30 events. As Krzanich admitted: "there's quite a bit more work required than just this chip". It's a symbol of what's possible, Krzanich said, as Intel seeks to remake itself. Since 2015, Krzanich had methodically sold a small amount of stock on a monthly or quarterly basis, said Ben Silverman, a researcher at the firm. That was an unusual move by a CEO, Mr. Silverman said. "The size and selling behavior were unusual".

Mr. Silverman and other securities experts said they would expect USA regulators to examine Mr. Krzanich's trade to see if it violated insider-trading regulations, although such cases are hard to win.

The SEC and Justice Department declined to comment.

The Intel chief spent less than two minutes talking about the company's security problems; his keynote (watch video below from about 58:00 onwards) was preceded by about 16 minutes of music. See the most important products that will impact businesses and professionals. He said confusion arose because of software fixes the company and many others are making to address the vulnerabilities.

Proving that the sale was improper could be tough, legal experts say.

"At first glance, it's a very unusual type of thing that shareholders and directors would want a fairly tight explanation about", said David Larcker, a professor of securities law at Stanford University.

Shortly before taking the stage Monday night, Krzanich sent a memo to employees announcing a reorganization that creates a new group within Intel to guard against security lapses.

Intel Labs has developed a neuromorphic research chip, code-named "Loihi,"which includes digital circuits that mimic the brain's basic operation". Companies from Microsoft to Apple have announced efforts to patch the vulnerabilities.