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AMD Security Hardware IT

AMD and ARM Team Up 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the dynamic-duo dept.
Vigile writes "Today AMD is making an announcement that is the first step in a drastic transition for the company by integrating an ARM Cortex A5 processor on the same die with upcoming Fusion APUs. Starting in late 2013, all AMD APUs (processors that are combinations of x86 cores and Radeon SIMD arrays) will also integrate an ARM Cortex A5 processor to handle security for online transactions, banking, identity protection and DRM integration. The A5 is the smallest Cortex processor available, and that would make sense to use it in a full APU so it will not take up more than 10-15 square mm of die space. This marks the first time AMD has licensed ARM technology and while many people were speculating a pure ARM+Radeon hybrid, this move today is being described as the 'first step' for AMD down a new road of dexterity as an IP-focused technology company with their GPU technology as 'the crown jewel.' So while today's announcement might focus on using ARM processors for security purposes, the future likely holds much more these two partners."
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AMD and ARM Team Up

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @02:37PM (#40312437) Journal
    So AMD and ARM team up, and the product of their blissful union is an on-die TPM?

    Thanks for nothing, guys.
  • by BanHammor (2587175) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @02:38PM (#40312441)
    So, they have these universal processing units, and the ARM part of them is doing fuckall but DRM? I can't exactly say "yay".
  • by Jeng (926980) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:04PM (#40312745)

    what's a phone book?

    It's that lump of wood pulp that is left on your doorstep once a year. It is completely filled with advertisements and phone numbers, but no reviews at all.

  • Re:OMG TPM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:04PM (#40312747)

    Before you start flaming about DRM and TPM taking over your computer and all, please remember that all TPM chips currently available allow you to install your own keys.

    And once you're tied to using them, they'll stop allowing you to install your own keys.

    Vendor lockin FTW.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:11PM (#40312815)

    So AMD and ARM team up, and the product of their blissful union is an on-die TPM?

    Thanks for nothing, guys.

    Basically. The only ones who will ever make use of it are DRM assholes.

    They make it sound like a feature by talking about "security for online transactions", "banking", and "identity protection", but no one will ever use it for that.
    It's dead silicon until Windows is updated to recognizes it and allow DRM schemes to tap into it.

  • Re:OMG TPM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:12PM (#40312825) Journal

    I simply can not imagine why anybody would intentionally buy a modern computer without these wonderful capabilities.

    Ever since TPM was created, we're always just a few bits and bytes away from having it leveraged against us, by them.
    And by "us" I mean "the computer users."
    By "them" I mean "the hardware manufacturers and software/media companies."

    Example: The newest motherboards don't need the ability to disable trusted boot. Heck, it'd have been easier to not include it!
    We're more or less at the mercy of a small number of companies and their design decisions.
    Worse, we have no real power other than social pressure.

  • Re:OMG TPM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:24PM (#40313041)

    You have the power to not purchase locked down motherboards.

    Of course once Windows requires that all systems are locked down before it runs, there'll be a remarkable lack of affordable motherboards that will run any other operating system. Nor will you be able to buy a Windows machine and install another operating system instead.

    Anyone who thinks this isn't intended to create vendor lockin is incredibly naive.

  • by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:35PM (#40313215) Homepage Journal

    please remember that all TPM chips currently available allow you to install your own keys.

    Which won't help if both the cable company and the DSL company start using Trusted Network Connect [slashdot.org] to control home customers' access to their networks. In such a case, you wouldn't be able to get Internet service with your own key on the TPM.

  • by TimothyDavis (1124707) <tumuchspaam@hotmail.com> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @05:02PM (#40314523)
    One of the problems that AMD is facing is that OEMs use their CPUs in a value system - where across the board features are cut. This hurts AMD because many of these systems lack TPMs, which pretty much blocks them from many enterprise deployments, as Bitlocker and DirectAccess pretty much require a TPM. By creating a soft TPM, AMD is working around the BOM cost of a hardware TPM.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @06:18PM (#40315523) Journal

    Bingo! None of the banks or online transactions will use it because it isn't cross platform and AMD doesn't have a big enough share of the CPU market so the only ones that will use it is those who want DRM on top of their DRM.

    I've been a loyal AMD CPU customer but if this is the best they can do we are SOL. Thuban was the last good CPU they've put out, the whole Bulldozer design is a netburst sized fail, the Bobcats were good but they haven't updated them in ages and now THIS, this is the best they can come up with?

    I have a sick feeling in my stomach we may have just been shown the beginning of the end guys, AMD may end up just like Nvidia, selling GPUs with ARM chips for mobile which will leave Intel standing alone in X86 and if that is the case then we are royally fucked. I don't know how many here remember but once upon a time Intel stood alone and the price of chips was bug fucking crazy, so i can only hope someone at AMD grows a brain, gets rid of the "crippled half core" faildozer design and goes back to the drawing board because more DRM isn't a way to get folks buying your chips AMD.

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