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Intel Patents Hardware

Intel Adds DRM to New Chips 673

Posted by Zonk
from the get-you-where-you-live dept.
Badluck writes "Microsoft and the entertainment industry's holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset. Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM -enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case..." The Inquirer has the story as well.
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Intel Adds DRM to New Chips

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  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:41PM (#12664629) Journal
    Maybe this will be in the next gen consoles as well? It seems about the right time to reveal technology going in them and "forget" to mention this. Could outright kill mod chipping and pirated games.
  • Re:Bye Bye Intel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:41PM (#12664631) Homepage Journal

    I know I will be sticking with AMD....

    Umm... AMD is part of Trusted Computing Group [windowsfordevices.com].

  • retrocompatibility? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dario_moreno (263767) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:42PM (#12664641) Homepage Journal
    What if the systems have to be retrocompatible ? The re must be a flag to detect if the processor is a 945, and if not, software decoding happens. By making the system believe the processor is pre-945, there must be a way to circumvent the protection (does not work of course if a 945 is required, but this will need another three to five years).
  • fun for hackers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maharg (182366) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:43PM (#12664652) Homepage Journal
    from TFA: Additionally, AMT also features what Intel calls "IDE redirection" which will allow administrators to remotely enable, disable or format or configure individual drives and reload operating systems and software from remote locations, again independent of operating systems. Both AMT and IDE control are enabled by a new network interface controller.

    lots of fun to be had with this I think..
  • Re:Bye Bye Intel (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:47PM (#12664687) Homepage Journal
    Open Cores [opencores.org], here we come...
  • Read it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Tyro (247333) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12664690)
    It's actually quite interesting.

    They're not only talking about on-chip DRM, they're also talking about a "feature" called Active Management Technology in their new chipsets.

    By the sounds of it, it's a firmware-level mini-OS that allows an administrator (or presumably anyone with the password, or the appropriate exploit) to, and I quote:

    "remotely enable, disable or format or configure individual drives and reload operating systems and software from remote locations, again independent of operating systems

    Frankly, that worries me quite a bit more than the DRM.
  • Bad Step (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StratoChief66 (841584) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:49PM (#12664699) Homepage
    Provide a feature for someone other than those who are paying for your product? Yeah, um, lets see how that works out for you pal. I will personally avoid these things like the plague.
  • Re:AMD position? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StillAnonymous (595680) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:51PM (#12664721)
    If they announce that they are, I'm going to buy the fastest non-DRM-infested available chip they have and then I'm done with all this bullshit.

    Maybe buy a little cabin and become a fisherman. Fuck the technology industry. The "content moguls" have fucking ruined it for everyone with their whining control-freakery.

    I hope they dig their own graves with this one.
  • I still think.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Asprin (545477) <gsarnold@3.14yahoo.com minus pi> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:52PM (#12664730) Homepage Journal

    I still think it might be possible to defeat this with an emulator.
  • Re:Nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:52PM (#12664731) Homepage Journal
    Does someone need to start an informational site called "DRMRipsYouOff.org" or something?
  • by ahfoo (223186) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:54PM (#12664741) Journal
    Hasn't it been publicly stated numerous times that the whole reason China was pusing for localized Linux was to avoid having hidden backdoors on PCs in China that the government had no control over? If Intel is really installing a sub-system that is specifically designed to re-direct information it seems like a pretty obvious violation of that stated policy. It's hard for Intel to say they didn't know about it when it has been rolled out pretty much every time the topic of Linux and China gets mentioned in the IT press.
    And is it just China? Don't a number of other countries have similar policies? This seems like it could have serious implications for Intel's global position. The US market is big, but it's not necessarily where the PC growth is coming from over the next few decades.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:06PM (#12664814) Journal
    AMD++

    What makes AMD so useful if they wouldn't support DRM, even for people hating it? It's not like not supporting DRM = ways to bypass DRM. To AMD boards not supporting this, a DRM'ed file will then just look like a blob of heavily encrypted and digitally signed material. Is that so much better than a blob of material you can do something with, although you wouldn't like the system?

    Yes, from a "I don't support this because I don't like the philosophy" perspective, I can see your point, but can't see it'll matter much for how all this will evolve (DRM becoming even more mainstream than it already is). After all, MS + Intel isn't a minor player, and AMD all alone looks like peanuts in comparison to that force.
  • Re:Virus Writers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogie (31020) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:07PM (#12664821) Journal
    Not backing Intel on this but that's possible right now. At this very moment the only thing that's keeps people's drives from getting wiped is the fact that virus writers don't feel like being that destructive.

    They all think about it and know its possible but out of fear for what that would do to the world and how many years they would go to jail for, top virus writers simply don't do that. Look at all of the oppurtunities they've had over the last five years to wipe machines.

    Mass Destrutction viruses are old school and it seems today its all about stealing Credit card info and address book entries. DRM or tricking the system into trusting code won't make it any easier. Windows already does that all on it own.
  • by bogie (31020) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:19PM (#12664892) Journal
    I remember that. This is different IMHO. Back then it was all about "Intel is going track everything you do on the net!". People freaked out about that. This is about moving DRM restriction from software to hardware and will only affect people trying to "break" DRM on songs and movies they buy. This is only going to affect people who buy from napster.com etc. People who don't use those services won't see any difference and the same goes for people who do.
    So while I may be wrong I think this feature will go unoticed except by those who download DRM software and then are trying to break it. Even then it may be no different unless its harder. If vendors are going to rely on this and this only, hope they have forceably updatable micro code in that chipset otherwise they are in for trouble.

    Oh and in the nonDRM world easynews continues to only cost $9 for 10GB.
  • Re:PPC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@xoxFREEBSDy.net minus bsd> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:22PM (#12664912) Homepage Journal
    This is very true. I've long felt that Apple's DRM implementation was somewhat halfhearted. Especially when you consider the features in iTunes circa v4.0 ... where you could share your songs over the internet. They plug stuff up when it gets cracked or when the RIAA makes a huge stink about it, but they're really not in the media-protection business. They want to sell computers, and people don't buy computers for the awesomely-restrictive DRM.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:35PM (#12664975)
    Don't even bother about this. The i86 architecture is about to be history.

    Any minute now, Cell Architecture machines will be in full flow, and Von Neuman architecture will be a dead duck except for embedded systems that use the 8051, MIPS, Sparc or Z280 architecture anyway.

    And cell architecture will presumably run derivatives of Linux, FreeBSD and OSX, but not WinXP.

    I have seen the future, and It is Apple shaped - this will be FAR bigger than the 8->16->23->64 bit transitions. This will be like punched cards to VDUs all oer again.

    It may need a whole new OS/Compiler infrastructure, but OpenSource can deliver that pretty quickly. Once you have it, the performance gains for many tasks are 1,000 fold. Esppecially for the tasks that i86 already finds hard!

  • by KillShill (877105) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:39PM (#12665009)
    yes, those chips let you own your console again, instead of renting it for a one time fee from the manufacturer whom you purchased it from...

    people are so quick and ready to jump on these "circumvention" devices because they think they are only used for copyright infringement.

    well i could care less about playing copied games. i just want the machine to be mine... to run code i want it to run. how hard is that to understand?

    people put up with this blatantly illegal/immoral shit because they are "game machines". that you pay money for them and then don't have the ability to use them as you wish, doesn't enter their teeny tiny brains.

    if they tried this with some major item, like cars, people would be up in arms.

    imagine some ordinary object in your life... that you buy and then later find out, there are restrictions on what you can do with it... set by the manufacturer... who sold you the product and then has the gall to tell you what you can do with what you own.

    it is NOT about "pirating" games.
  • by cl_everett (859742) <ceverett@NOspam.ceverett.com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:46PM (#12665050)
    happens when every embedded device is an agent of law enforcement. You can bet that if this goes mainstream, the end of Western Civilization is at hand. The term Ubiquitous Law Enforcement was invented by by noted science fiction author and computer scientist Vernor Vinge.
  • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:48PM (#12665060) Homepage
    there would be no motivation to copy things if copyright law was in the least bit reasonable

    Completely untrue. Most people will pirate what they want if they can do so. Low-price and other reasonable terms are largely red herrings, they don't really change things. Seen it all before with software sold in university bookstores. A textbook comes with a coupon for a heavily discounted commercial software package, one that has no anti-piracy. Sales of the software are negligible. The publisher then adds trivially defeated copy-protection, sales of the software approaches the number of textbooks sold. As long as a DOS "diskcopy" command could copy the software it was pirated, when a crack was need sales jumped wildly.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:59PM (#12665115)
    Any minute now, Cell Architecture machines will be in full flow, and Von Neuman architecture will be a dead duck

    Yeah, sure. We've heard that one before. If highly parallel operations were some kind of silver bullet, then Thinking Machines wouldn't have gone out of business a decade ago.

    Once you have it, the performance gains for many tasks are 1,000 fold.

    Maybe some "highly crucial" tasks, like rendering textures in yet another FPS game. However, it doesn't look like the general-purpose decision making logic, which dominates a lot of applications, has been beefed up much at all vs. a conventional CPU.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:04PM (#12665149) Journal

    Seconded. I bought AMD because of this before Intel even implemented it, simply because Intel said they were going to. And as I'm the person in my social group that everyone asks about computers, I'll be recommending they avoid Intel and Dell also.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:20PM (#12665235)
    However, it doesn't look like the general-purpose decision making logic, which dominates a lot of applications, has been beefed up much at all vs. a conventional CPU.
    Sure, but traditionally such apps have not been highly CPU bound, anyway. Games and media (playback and encoding, as I believe the latter is efficiently parallelisable) will benefit greatly, and this is usually the reason people upgrade their chips.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by a whoabot (706122) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:26PM (#12665272)
    Who's going to make them though? The cost of entering the market with a new company to produce chips is just plain incredible. The Trusted Computing Group already consists of Intel, AMD, Sun, IBM, NVIDIA, ATI, Sony, Transmeta, HP and everyone else. So who will make these chips? The Trusted Computing cartel will make it extremely hard for them to do so. And, to boot, the total perentage of the population who even cares about DRM is probably similar to the total percentage of the population that goes to Slashdot, which isn't very much.

    Don't get your hopes up. DRM is coming to every consumer "general purpose"(with DRM installed, Trusted Computing has broken the general purpose aspect) computing device in the future. You're going to be stuck using today's, and the very near future's, technology for a long time if you don't want DRM. And why not have the ISPs out there not let computers connect to the internet if they're not "Trusted?" Even your old machines will probably be marginalized to a permamnently offline life.

    You might as well live up the internet and the computing platforms we have now. Soon these platforms and these protocols will be permamnently broken to make way for Trusted Computing.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:29PM (#12665293)
    Sure, but traditionally such apps have not been highly CPU bound, anyway.

    Some bloated apps are still annoyingly CPU bound. OOo startup, for example. Many server apps are also CPU bound.

    Games and media (playback and encoding, as I believe the latter is efficiently parallelisable) will benefit greatly, and this is usually the reason people upgrade their chips.

    Games and media are already accelerated in the GPU on the graphics card. Moving it into the main CPU would simply be a change in packaging strategy, not the orgasmic revolution in computing that the OP was talking about.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:50PM (#12665417)
    Couldn't this block some duplication that would/should be perfectly legal too?
    I'm surprised you even had to ask. The answer will be, of course, "yes".
  • Re:Read it (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:06PM (#12665532)
    Frankly, that worries me quite a bit more than the DRM.

    Old Soviet anecdote.

    By some magic Stalin was restored to life. He come to Kremlin, looked at today's Russian government and said: "I had two proposals: first, the entire government should be shot and, second, Kremlin should be painted into green. Do you have any questions?" Everyone shout out, "But, why green?" for what Stalin replied with satisfaction, "I knew there will be no questions about first one."

  • by plusser (685253) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @05:54PM (#12666165)
    If DRM becomes more commonplace, then there will actually be less business for the large Entertainment companies. The reason is very simple, if DRM is sucessful, and more importantly becomes open to everybody to publish their own material and ensure that it is protected online, what is the point in using a large Entertainment company to distribute your product? None - you don't need to produce CDs/DVDs and distribute them to shops, you just need a website and a method of accepting payment.

    Yeah, you might need to organise the publicity, yourself, but then so many large organisations have poor understanding of publicity that they leave to to independent agents anyway. And I'm sure if you talked to these agents in the right manner, they may do a deal on future profits.

    There is also a question of whether a pirate could then use DRM to build a virus that is undeletable from your system. As I understand DRM is about restricting the movement of files, which in turn may cause considerable problems with virus checkers in the future.

    Away, call me old fashioned, but if I really want to buy a piece of music, I would much rather go and order the CD from Amazon, or go round the corner to my local record store or supermarket. At least then I am reasonable confident that I will have music to play the day after the all the PCs in the world with DRM enabled connected to the internet mysteriously fail causing complete chaos.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jp10558 (748604) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:57PM (#12667140)
    The reason I don't buy Dell is because (IME only, YMMV) their machines are crap. That's how they are so cheap.

    Seriously, the people I know who buy Dells get about 8 months out of them before hardware starts to fail. Now these are average users, so I think this is an issue as that is (I think) one of Dell's big market segments.

    I personally think the issue is the total lack of active cooling + newer Intel chips which leads to overheating.

    Now, the systems are also difficult if not impossible to upgrade. Generally, you just buy another.

    Not only is this less affordable for the people I know, but it also leads to more junk being thrown out. Bad for the environment.

    What I tell people is that if they want a mediocre machine that they throw out in a year, buy a Dell. If they want decent support and something that will likely last them 4 or more years, pay a little more and get a local shop to make it.

    Though I don't actually know anyone who's bought a $350 Dell either, they usually seem to spend more like $850.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joto (134244) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @02:48AM (#12668540)
    Why it needs to to execute ~10e10 instructions just to pull up a blank word processor window I have no idea.

    Apparently it is to "resolve symbols" located in shared libraries. I think someone will have to come up with something clever to fix this, as I don't see applications getting smaller in the future. Maybe we need yet another incompatible C++ ABI.

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