Articles about hardware

Room with many locks on door

Arms race: SiFive, Hex Five build code safe houses for RISC-V chips

If you've been looking at SiFive's RISC-V-based chip technology and thinking, y'know what, it's missing an Arm TrustZone-style element to run sensitive code, well, here's some good news. And if you're just into processor design and checking out alternatives to Arm CPU cores, then this may be some interesting news. SiFive …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Sep 2018
Bank vault door

Boffins are building an open-source secure enclave on RISC-V

At some point this fall, a team of researchers from MIT's CSAIL and UC Berkeley's EECS aim to deliver an initial version of an open source, formally verified, secure hardware enclave based on RISC-V architecture called Keystone. "From a security community perspective, having trustworthy secure enclaves is really important for …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2018
image of binary on screen with word 'exploit'

Intel Management Engine JTAG flaw proof-of-concept published

The security researchers who found a way to compromise Intel's Management Engine last year have just released proof-of-concept exploit code for the now-patched vulnerability. Mark Ermolov and Maxim Goryachy at Positive Technologies have published a detailed walkthrough for accessing an Intel's Management Engine (IME) feature …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Aug 2018
Linux penguin with American flag-themed hat and flag

Linux 4.19 lets you declare your trust in AMD, IBM and Intel

Linux v4.19-rc1, release candidate code published on Sunday, allows those building their own kernel or Linux distribution to choose whether or not to trust the CPU hardware random number generator, a decision that has become complicated in the wake of the revelations about government surveillance over the past five years. When …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Aug 2018

Windows 10 July update. Surface Pro 4. Working fondleslab. Pick two

Some Microsoft Surface Pro 4 owners claim Redmond's July 24 Windows 10 update broke their devices. Folks posting to the software giant's community support forum describe various failures following the installation of OS Build 17134.191. Register readers have also been in touch to alert us to the gaffe. A person posting under …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Aug 2018
Road map with pin being inserted

Arm debuts CPU roadmap for the first time, sort of

Chip designer Arm for the first time in recent memory has presented a roadmap, sparsely detailed through it may be, covering future CPU plans for 5G always-on connected mobile and laptop devices. "This, I think, is the first time, certainly that I have been involved, in declaring a forward-looking roadmap in public," said Ian …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2018
A backdoor in plain sight

The off-brand 'military-grade' x86 processors, in the library, with the root-granting 'backdoor'

Black Hat A forgotten family of x86-compatible processors still used in specialist hardware, and touted for "military-grade security features," has a backdoor that malware and rogue users can exploit to completely hijack systems. The vulnerability is hardwired into the silicon of Via Technologies' C3 processors, which hit the market in …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Aug 2018
Intel's Navin Shenoy

Intel: Yeah, yeah, 10nm. It's on the todo list. Now, let's talk about AI...

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Summit today in Santa Clara, California, Chipzilla reiterated its commitment to deliver 10nm Xeon processors in 2020, to maintain its market leadership, and to adapt its silicon to AI-oriented workloads. That'll be the same 10nm that's years and years late, with manufacturing nightmares …
Qualcomm building

Qualcomm demands blueprints to Intel chips used in Apple iPhones

Qualcomm, as part of its patent battle against Apple, claims Intel went back on its word by failing to produce technical documents and code covering how its latest radio frequency components are being used in Apple's 2018 iPhones. And so, the San Diego, California-based chip designer has filed a motion in its home state to …
 Brand new apple Macbook Pro 15 inch late 2016 with touchbar.

Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Two Apple customers, fed up with the keyboards used in recent model MacBook notebooks, filed a lawsuit against the company on Friday in a San Jose, Calif, federal court. Plaintiffs Zixuan Rao, of San Diego, Calif, and Kyle Barbaro, of Melrose, Mass, alleging that Apple's model year 2015 or later MacBooks and model year 2016 or …
Thomas Claburn, 14 May 2018

Hooray for MLPerf, another AI benchmark competition backed by Google, Baidu, etc

A new competition to set benchmarks to test the numerous hardware and software platforms used in AI has been backed by leading technology companies and universities. The new project MLPerf is measuring the speed of training and inference times for different machine learning tasks carried out in a variety of AI frameworks and …
AMD bloodbath

CTS who? AMD brushes off chipset security bugs with firmware patches

AMD has finally weighed in with its opinion of the security flaws in its Epyc, Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, and Ryzen Mobile chips, identified in a rather over-the-top fashion by CTS-Labs a week ago. The vulnerabilities affect the firmware managing the AMD Secure Processor and the chips used in some socket AM4 and socket TR4 desktop …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Mar 2018
Microsoft CLAW

Microsoft floats feelers for fake worlds

At least two crucial ingredients are missing from virtual and augmented reality: revenue and a sense of touch. The industry is confident that the revenue is coming as hardware costs fall, awareness rises, and expectations become more realistic. Consultancy Greenlight Insights reckons global VR revenue will reach $75 billion by …
Qualcomm

Qualglumm: Still no royalties from Apple, tax hits, EU fine, flat sales

US chip designer Qualcomm on Wednesday reported $6.1bn flat-growth revenues for its first fiscal quarter of 2018, which ended on December 24, 2017. The stronger-than-expected results come a week after the wireless networking, processor crafting, and patent-wielding biz was hit with a $1.2bn fine by EU regulators over payments …

You mean Google updated its smartwatch OS and nobody noticed?

Google has quietly brought improvements to its wearable OS that users have been asking for three years. And without much fanfare. With Android Wear 2.6, the text size of notifications now adjusts according to how long they are. It adds new connection status indicators for Wi-Fi Bluetooth and mobile network connectivity. Google …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2017
Haswell E5-2600 series die

Intel finds critical holes in secret Management Engine hidden in tons of desktop, server chipsets

Intel today admitted its Management Engine (ME), Server Platform Services (SPS), and Trusted Execution Engine (TXE) are vulnerable to multiple worrying security flaws, based on the findings of external security experts. The firmware-level bugs allow logged-in administrators, and malicious or hijacked high-privilege processes, …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017
Alex Kipman demos a VR headset for reporters

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 Second Li, er, Mixed Reality

With the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update just two weeks away, Microsoft showcased on Tuesday more of the virtual-reality headset support that will be bundled with the software upgrade. Alex Kipman, a technical fellow with Redmond's operating system group, demonstrated for El Reg and other assembled tech hacks a …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Oct 2017
Oracle

Oracle's Q1: Cloud, great. Hardware, meh. Mergers, unlikely

Oracle kicked off its 2018 fiscal year by reporting more than $9bn in total revenues. The enterprise software giant talked up its cloud business Thursday while CEO Larry Ellison made a point of needling his rivals in the SaaS space. For the Q1 fiscal year 2018 period, ending August 31: Revenues of $9.2bn topped analyst …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2017

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