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Intel's Reported Bug Hits Chipmaker's Shares, Boosts Rival AMD

With reports of a potential bug in Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) technology, Intel shares fell while those of rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD - Get Report) jumped on Wednesday morning.

AMD spiked 7.4% to $11.79 in pre-market trading, while Intel dropped 3% to $45.44.

The issue exposes so-called kernel memory, which "may contain all sorts of secrets, such as passwords, login keys, files cached from disk, and so on," The Register, a tech website, reports.

"Think of the kernel as God sitting on a cloud, looking down on Earth. It's there, and no normal being can see it, yet they can pray to it," The Register explained. People can also apparently hack it to get at the valuable information stored within the kernel.

According to The Register, the vulnerability requires "a significant redesign" of the kernels in Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Get Report) and Linux operating systems, as well as updates to Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) operating systems. Fixing the problem via a software patch could lead to noticeable slowdowns in computers using Intel's affected chips.

Intel's woes are an unexpected boon for AMD. As reported Tuesday, AMD faces a rocky competitive environment in early 2018 because of new offerings from Intel and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA - Get Report) . Shares of Nvidia gained about 2.5% in pre-market trading to $204.43.

While Intel has gained 28% over the last 52 weeks, AMD is down 3.9%. Meanwhile, Nvidia is up 95% over the period.

Intel did not immediately respond to a query for this story.

Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL, MSFT or NVDA? Learn more now.

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