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Intel says patches can cause reboot problems in old chips

Intel is working with customers to understand, diagnose and address the reboot issue.

Intel is working with customers to understand, diagnose and address the reboot issue.

Intel said yesterday that recently issued patches for flaws in its chips could cause computers using its older Broadwell and Haswell processors to reboot more often than normal and that Intel may need to issue updates to fix the buggy patches.

In a statement on Intel's Web site, Navin Shenoy, general manager of the company's data centre group, said Intel had received reports about the issue and was working directly with data centre customers to "discuss" the issue.

"We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue," Shenoy said in the statement. "If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels."

Earlier on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Intel was asking cloud computing customers to hold off installing patches that address new security flaws that affect nearly all of its processors because the patches have bugs of their own.

Intel has identified three issues in updates released over the past week for "microcode", or firmware, the newspaper reported, citing a confidential document the company had shared with some customers that it had reviewed.

The world's largest chipmaker confirmed last week that the security issues reported by researchers in the company's widely used microprocessors could allow hackers to steal sensitive information from computers, phones and other electronic devices.

Intel shares were down about half a percent to $43.20 in after-hours trading after the announcement. Intel shares have lost 4.5% since the news of the chip flaws emerged on 3 January.

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