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back to article AMD adds ARM security core to new, low-cost x86 mobile processors

AMD has two new, low-power system-on-chip (SoC) designs for laptops and tablets ready to roll that include an ARM processor core built into the die to handle security and virtualized Android support for Windows systems. "This category of products is AMD's; we own it, we created it, every year we build upon it to deliver even …

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Silver badge

Virtualisation and Secure Boot are no security features

Since they both either promote or enforce insecure closed code.

Secure Boot only makes sure you cannot boot vendor approved code... which isn't necessarily more secure than just any code. In fact denial of service attacks have already been found my accident, occurring with valid input. (just think of the EFI bugs)

Virtualisation sounds like a good idea at first, however most environments are terribly leaky. Quite often you will be able to snatch (part of) secret keys through the borders of virtualisation. It's a convenience feature, allowing you to share hardware, but not a security feature.

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Re: Virtualisation and Secure Boot are no security features

>>"Since they both either promote or enforce insecure closed code."

Virtualization promotes closed code? News to the Debian install I'm running in VirtualBox right now. Enforces insecure code? Can't even point out the flaw in the logic of that one as there is no logic supporting it - How does Secure Boot enforce insecure code? Rather unconvinced.

>>"Secure Boot only makes sure you cannot boot vendor approved code... which isn't necessarily more secure than just any code"

The point is not that a vendor's code is necessarily more secure than any other vendor's. (Nice weasel word of "necessarily" in there, btw), but that it allows you to know which code you're running. Code X may be more secure, or code Y might be. But with Secure Boot you know that you're not running Code Z. It's basically a tool that ensures your choice is respected. And as has been pointed out to you before, you can turn it off.

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A lock in?

I half imagine the new security will be used to keep Linux out.

Windows problem was that when the OS became obsolete the hardware worked with Linux.

That, by the looks of it is more and more becoming a thing of the past now.

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Re: A lock in?

>>"That, by the looks of it is more and more becoming a thing of the past now."

It's a requirement of the Windows 8 certification that you be able to turn off Secure Boot on any x86 device. On ARM, well, that's the same situation as any other phone or tablet, sadly.

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can != cannot

"Secure Boot only makes sure you cannot boot vendor approved code"

If that was true the ability only to boot unapproved code would be an interesting feature :)

No security is perfect, however the ability to define a root of trust from BIOS to application are better than the alternative of allowing any code to run on your system.

Virtualisation on the processor allows you to segment the security layer rather than building it into your system. This allows easier update and testing. It also allows you to leverage the processor power by running different OS on the same chip more easily

They sound interesting chips

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Getting more done with less

The integration of GPU and ARM with an x86 is the way to go. You need less silicon and less power to get things done. Cheaper to make and run.

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Paris Hilton

Shares

Time to stock up on amd shares?

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Re: Shares

That was back in February, or even better, back before April of last year. I'm afraid the Market has noticed AMD's strategic maneuvering now and they've been rising. I reckon AMD is going to be doing very well over the next few years.

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Why only windows?

I think we should be asking why is this set to use only windows? After all there are several other operating systems out here that would benefit from such a processor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why only windows?

Just a guess, but maybe they are hoping to sell some of these processors.

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Re: Why only windows?

Linux already runs on ARM so people who want that already have that in a lot of cases. Yes, it would be nice, but Linux got ahead of Windows long ago with ARM so this is actually MS playing catch-up. Also, the Linux tablet and phone market is pretty much sewn up by Android currently so they have little interest in this as they're solely ARM-focused. You will see Linux taken advantage of on the server chips though.

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h3
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I hate bluestacks its adware. I would rather just have a good hardware accelerated independent Android system. (On which I would probably use tapatalk and that is about it much prefer its UI to web forums.)

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Trollface

"Fan-free Beema and Mullins chips add Android support"

Hasn't one of AMD's biggest problems recently been that much of their product line has been fan-free?

Thank you, remember to tip your waitress.

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So in other words their crippleware is even harder to repair now?

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Anonymous Coward

Works 4 me

These new APUs are definitely top performers in this market segment and should make people very happy. Congrats to AMD for delivering more performance with lower power and at affordable prices unlike Intel who bends people over every chance they get.

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