Feeds

Transmeta pledges 'no execute' security support

Efficeon to handle WinXP SP2 security system

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Transmeta today claimed that its Efficeon chip will be the first "energy-efficient" processor to support the oft-touted 'no execute' NX instruction required by Windows XP Service Pack 2's anti-virus sub-system.

So it either missed AMD's low-power Athlon 64 launch t'other week, or it doesn't believe that the mobile 64-bit CPUs are energy-efficient.

AMD's 64-bit processors have supported NX since launch. Intel's Itanium chips support the feature, too, as will future 64-bit Pentium and Xeon processors, the chip giant revealed last week - though Intel is calling it 'XD' rather than NX.

Transmeta's support for NX will come mid-2004 when it launches "new Efficeon processors scheduled to ship in mid-year 2004". The current version, the 130nm TM8600, was launched last October. A 90nm version of the part - the TM8800 - is due during the second half of the year. It's not clear whether Transmeta's statement that it will support NX with a revised 130nm part or today's statement marks a narrowing of the TM8800's launch window.

Either way, adding NX will allow Windows XP SP2 to prevent viruses and worms from executing code stored in areas memory marked for data rather than executables.

Of course, doing so is relatively easy for Transmeta, which simply needs to tweak its Code Morphing software to add NX support. Code Morphing translates inbound x86 instructions into the Efficeon's native Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) instructions at run-time.

Transmeta is this month providing Microsoft with advance versions of Efficeon-based systems with NX support for internal evaluation and use, the chip maker said. ®

Related stories

Transmeta sales rise as Efficeon interest grows
Transmeta's 90nm Efficeon to sample January '04
Transmeta plots Efficeon roadmap to 2GHz
AMD delivers on low-power Athlon 64 pledge
Microsoft irks ISVs with XP SP2 delay

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.