Almost all modern CPUs use Speculative Execution as a means to improve performance and efficiency. Your computer’s processor performs tons of calculations in advance and chooses the correct one according to a program’s flow. It makes sense as an idle CPU is undoubtedly a wasted resource.
When it comes to Linux creator Linus Torvalds, he likes the way speculative execution improves performance. What irritates him is the fact that not all incorrect calculations are completely discarded — this is what turned out to be the root cause of bugs like Spectre and Meltdown.
Linus expressed these views during The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit in Vancouver. The fact that the developers of operating systems and kernel developers had to manage the fixes is something that irks him a lot.
Interestingly, these bugs resulted in a new kind of collaboration between Linux and Windows developers. “We now have this wonderful back channel. We’re talking to each other and we’re fixing bugs for each other,” Kroah-Hartman added.
Overall, Torvalds accepts that things have changed a bit and Intel has gotten much better. When the latest Foreshadow bug was spotted, Intel notified the Linux kernel devs on time.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht