AMD Zen 2 processors get hardware level Spectre protection

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Where is your logic?

    Those IFs you mentioned are correct. Currently produced chips can be considered as vulnerable till "soft-patched".
    But that has nothing to do with release of HW fixed CPUs in 18 months. Those old ones still need to get patch and Zen2 existence does not change anything for them.

    Your comments here are not even off-topic.
     
  2. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, it's out in the wild apparently: http://www.securityweek.com/malware-exploiting-spectre-meltdown-flaws-emerges



    What I was referring too is that AMD brags with fixing the issues they have known in two years of time (since they have heard of Meltdown / Spectre), another 18 months from now on. Nothing to brag about, Intel isn't able to fix their CPUs with patches, but their hardware fix is at least announced to arrive this year. Also too long in my opinion.

    Your comment shows you didn't understand what I was complaining about, that the fixes are way overdue in any way, at last in my opinion.
    And I don't fancy posting off-topic, that's something for the trolls that roam this place.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  3. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Granted it is overdue...
    But QUOTE: 2017-06-01
    The findings are shared with Intel, AMD and ARM. [1] footnote 1

    But, do you have better solution? Trash every CPU, stop selling till they have fixed chips available?
     
  4. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Well, maybe they have to get some of their cash and indeed offer people reparations like offering them a discount on the CPU they sold.
    Or would you argue that Intel didn't make enough money so they couldn't give people a discount if they still have the receipts?
    Or they could have worked on the patches earlier, like we apparently agree, so that we wouldn't have the current situations.
    But after all, it's not my responsibility to find an appropriate sollution, I didn't make billions off of faulty products.
     

  5. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    "Intel will fix meltdown/spectre in hardware this year."

    LOL

    It isn't happening.
    What Brian Krzanich said at the beginning of the conference call was just bait for intel stockholders:

    "We're working to incorporate silicon-based changed to future products that will directly address the Spectre and Meltdown threats in ***hardware***. And those products will begin appearing ***later this year***."

    Towards the end of the conference call, when asked by one of the analysts they changed/corrected that story:

    "The only other think I'd add for Brian's comment earlier, we kind of go into the year realizing that it's an increasingly competitive environment and our focus is on right now continuing to bring the best highest performance products to market, but also to lots of time and energy spend on focusing on fixing those issue, primarily through ***software patches as opposed to short-term hardware*** things."
     
  6. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    LOL (to add some value)

    First statement and the later does not really contradict itself, they didn't even say which products will receive the hardware fix, if it's consumer or prefessional orientated. Consumer will get patches, pro products will probably get it at a hardware level so that they remain competitive, as according to your quote.
    But thanks for adding to my opinions view that it all takes too long.
     
  7. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    If they can redesign their cpus (pro or not) within a year then it doesn't make any sense at all that they only do it for a part of the market. They are all based on the same core architecture. It's all or nothing. Definitely nothing for this year, perhaps they will announce but the chances that we see any fixed cpus for any market in 2018 is 0.
     
  8. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    PS by some definitions a microcode update is considered a hardware update. So the best we could see this year is cpus with the a new microcode pre-installed.
     
  9. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    So a firmware upgrade is a hardware fix? Probably only in Intel's world... I personally consider it a software still.
    And to install that new microcode on any new products is the very least they should do. They should have already done it with the CPUs Intel launched late 2017, and I'm not even sure they did.
     
  10. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    It is a fix "in hardware" :)
     

  11. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    hehe you might be right in some ways, but not by the definition of the English language. It's a fix in the firmware, and the firmware is software which is based on code. So... no :D
    Even if you say it's a fix "in hardware", it's actually "in" the mainboard, and not the CPU
     
  12. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    True, but if we read BKs statement carefully you will see that he never said "cpus" will be "fixed" this year. He said "products".
     
  13. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Well, and have you thoght that AMD not releasing fixed CPUs sooner is due to actual Zen2 schedule?
    Intel may release fixed CPU sooner, but only because they iterate faster.
    AMD planed to release Zen2 in 2019, and before that, they have current architecture.
    (Who wants half baked CPU?)

    About money back. I do not think AMD should even think about it (and I get why you mentioned intel), as they are affected less and negative impact of fix may be not even detectable.
    On intel side, there is chance, that current CPUs will not get protection after all. In that situation intel should reduce cost of CPUs as many people will want to replace flawed chips. Approaching this on person to person basis and "award" people for having receipt would burn them on PR level.
    Replacement or giving appropriate discount for sending back older CPUs would put them into bankruptcy.

    All those CPU designers made "mistake" and only way forward is for us to live with what we got.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  14. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Maha Guru

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    The microcode update is loaded at the system start-up, it can be done by the firmware or by the OS loader (the first is the preferred method since it will protect the OS loader too, but the second is a good choice to update all those systems that do not have an updated firmware installed).
    The updated microcode is loaded and kept in a volatile memory and - as far I know - it should be encrypted too. That code is then used by the CPU ISA translator that translate the "standardized" binary ISA to the internal CPU representation.
    Security and very complex instructions are usually translated from the ISA to the internal architecture representation, but the process is entirely opaque and the translation can change at every architecture iteration and at every die-shrink or revision of the same u-arch as well. Not all ISA instructions and internal CPU behaviours can be patched.
    So you can think it as a software patch used at hardware level.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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  15. kd7

    kd7 Member Guru

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    Well explained, thanks. But, it seems obvious to me that a "software patch used at hardware level" is exactly what intel refers to when they say that Meltdown/Spectre will be addressed "in hardware" in "products" appearing this year. I don't think that the cpus themselves will have any hardware changes that directly address those issues.
     

  16. jaggerwild

    jaggerwild Master Guru

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    Im a go spend my free time haiting on miners, I do not think 1 month was time enough to fix any hardware issue's. They changed there die's already? Intel too! NOT, but I also don't think some dude with the exploit is gonna be knocking on my back door. I think they wqill go for bigger fish I.E. such as a corporation, or something with big money. Like jack potting an ATM, mean while in other news an 1080TI is at $1600, all the 580 are gone. Blah they gonna miss a few people when the dust settles, I assume I'll be playing on a console by then.
    This is F@@KED up no matter how you look at it, the ATM thing is a big issue here(in the USA)that has been a 800 Gorilla in the room. I'm a dig out my older games get back to the good old days
     
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  17. JamesSneed

    JamesSneed Master Guru

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    I tend to agree or they would have said in silicone or something more specific like that. At least AMD came right out and said fixing this in the silicone for Zen 2. Intel very rarely has these types of direct public communications. It feels like Intel's public statements have been ran through a herd of politicians by the time we read them.
     
  18. asturur

    asturur Master Guru

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    For who is talking about phones, how many x86 phones are out there?

    This patch affects just x86 architecture right? no arm no powerpc
     
  19. user1

    user1 Maha Guru

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    the spectre exploit affects power pc , arm and sparc aswell, meltdown also affects a small number of arm chips,

    almost Everything that uses a half modern cpu needs patches.

    google and apple have already deployed patches, but many android phones are still vulnerable since they require the manufacturer to ship a new update, some may never be patched, older iphones are also vulnerable( pre 5s).
     
  20. chispy

    chispy Ancient Guru

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    Welp , i will be skipping AMD Zen+ and stay with original Ryzen 1700x for a while longer since it does everything i needs absolutely fine and then some , so it is good to hear this news knowing that it is going to be fixed with Zen2 then :) , Zen2 i will update from my current cpu.
     

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