Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2007 01:00 UTC
Intel "Today's launch of the latest version of Intel's vPro platform is a much bigger deal than you might think, with implications for end users that extend far beyond the enterprise arena at which vPro is initially aimed. The 2007 version of vPro represents the culmination of two of Intel's most ambitious and important plans for the PC platform: the transformation of x86 into a fully virtualizable ISA complete with virtualized I/O, and the first fully-complete implementation of all the parts of Intel's controversial contribution to 'trusted computing' technology, formerly codenamed 'LaGrande' but now called Trusted Execution Technology. Let's take a look at the new vPro and what its new virtualization and 'trusted computing' capabilities mean for ordinary users."
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No way..
by BSDfan on Wed 29th Aug 2007 01:51 UTC
BSDfan
Member since:
2007-03-14

Another method of limiting users from comprehending their own system? jeez.. In 5 more years computers will be designed by Fisher Price and the world as depicted in the movie "Idiocracy(2006)" will become quite factual.

Wake up people.. please?

Edited 2007-08-29 01:51

Reply Score: 2

RE: No way..
by butters on Wed 29th Aug 2007 06:53 UTC in reply to "No way.."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

TXT is an equal-opportunity restrictor. Although it will be predominantly used as an anti-circumvention solution by commercial software and content vendors, it could be used as a security solution by ordinary users.

For example, I could use my own key to sign the software that I trust, and if it becomes compromised, TXT will refuse to execute it. But I can only exercise my freedom to tinker if the software isn't already signed by the vendor when I receive it.

Note that GPLv3 software can only be distributed pre-signed if it also comes with the key to unlock it. I don't see why any distributor would do this, but in the interest of minimizing restrictions as much as possible, it makes some sense.

As for VT-d, this is a great idea on paper, but it has some major caveats. The biggie is that live migration is impossible without defeating the whole point of the IOMMU. This forces admins to choose between a big single point of failure or no live migration. Tough choice, but most admins will choose cover their ass with live migration.

Let's take a look at IBM System P for example. A special non-mobile LPAR called the VIOS handles all physical I/O. The client LPARs are completely paravirtualized so that they can be migrated to another machine running a VIOS. If not for the IOMMU, each LPAR could have its own physical I/O layer. That would be preferable, because if the VIOS goes down, every LPAR on the machine has to be migrated.

Intel must realize that nested page tables are far more important than IOMMU, and AMD is going to beat them to the punch with Barcelona. AMD already makes Intel look silly because of their lack of real-mode virtualization support. No bootsplash for you!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No way..
by akro on Wed 29th Aug 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE: No way.."
akro Member since:
2005-07-06

Not that I am an expert esepcially on the P series side but wouldn't PCI-E IOV and Multiroot PCI-E fix this. IE I have virtualized PCI-E card in a blade enclsoure and all the blades have access via Multiroot PCI-E. Therefore I a live migration is possible with virtualized IO.

Reply Score: 1

Corporate America...
by wakeupneo on Wed 29th Aug 2007 04:04 UTC
wakeupneo
Member since:
2005-07-06

All your base are belong to US!

</sarcasm>

Reply Score: 1

vpro summary
by Luminair on Wed 29th Aug 2007 05:25 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

"...as a potential technological enabler of more effective DRM, it's also the ideal companion to Blu-ray and HD DVD, and a godsend to Big Content. Look for it across the rest of Intel's desktop and portable line by the end of 2008 and prepare to kiss fair use goodbye.

I can see AMD using this as a positive point of differentiation between them and Intel. "AMD and Linux leave YOU in control of your desktop."

Edited 2007-08-29 05:26 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: vpro summary
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Aug 2007 06:16 UTC in reply to "vpro summary"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I can see AMD using this as a positive point of differentiation between them and Intel. "AMD and Linux leave YOU in control of your desktop."


AFAIK, AMD are just as keen on TPM as Intel is.

as a potential technological enabler of more effective DRM, it's also the ideal companion to Blu-ray and HD DVD, and a godsend to Big Content. Look for it across the rest of Intel's desktop and portable line by the end of 2008 and prepare to kiss fair use goodbye


So who is goiing to line up to buy hardware that someone else controls?

This just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm hoping a Chinese company might prduce a motherboard sporting an ULTRASPARC T2.
http://www.sun.com/featured-articles/2007-0807/feature/index.jsp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UltraSPARC_T2

Apparently Sun has plans to release the hardware design under the GPL.

Linux would really fly on that thing ... and yes, you would be in control of your desktop.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: vpro summary
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Aug 2007 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE: vpro summary"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apparently Sun has plans to release the hardware design (of ULTRASPARC T2) under the GPL.


Here it is:
http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2007/08/28/sun_ultrasparc_t2_processo...
Sun plans to release source code for the UltraSPARC T2 processor to the OpenSPARC community and the UltraSPARC T2 processor design to the open source community through the GPL license.


I knew I'd seen it somewhere.

Now there is a design which you can be asured that your hardware is on your own side.

Sun has announced the UltraSPARC T2, which it has dubbed the world's fastest commodity microprocessor.


I like the sound of that.

The UltraSPARC T2 processor will be available in production quantities this quarter, with prices starting below $1,000, and licensing options for derivative works.


That doesn't sound TOO bad.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: vpro summary
by UglyKidBill on Wed 29th Aug 2007 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE: vpro summary"
UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

So who is goiing to line up to buy hardware that someone else controls?

This just doesn't make sense to me.


About a gazillion people who doesn't know what they buying, with the help of a gazillion people who doesn't care what they're selling as long as they profit, I'm afraid.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: vpro summary
by psychicist on Wed 29th Aug 2007 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: vpro summary"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

It's partially because of these tendencies that I have ported my favourite Linux distribution (Slackware) to MIPS (Loongson 2E) and SPARC (UltraSPARC II) and it flies on my relatively slow hardware.

I and many others will be totally free from both Intel and AMD. There is a Chinese company creating an UltraSPARC T1 derivative (http://www.polarismicro.com) and SRISC (http://www.srisc.com) has done the same thing

And of course there is the Loongson processor, which already performs admirably at 660 MHz. This is the official Chinese processor developed by ICT (Institute for Computing Technology) of CAS (Chinese Academy of Science).

Very soon Loongson 2F will be available in multiple systems from Lemote and next year Loongson 3 will cause mayhem with its 16 cores in workstation, servers and supercomputers. The Tile64 processor doesn't look that bad and neither does Cell.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: vpro summary
by shapeshifter on Wed 29th Aug 2007 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: vpro summary"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

And of course there is the Loongson processor, which already performs admirably at 660 MHz. This is the official Chinese processor developed by ICT (Institute for Computing Technology) of CAS (Chinese Academy of Science).


Yeah, the Chinese are so much more trustworthy than Intel. Give me a break.
The only way to do anything about anything in a market economy is a publicity (the Internet is great for that) and boycotting products.
When company sees its sales drop, the bean counters take notice and changes happen.
Besides, I'd bet that the TC chip will be controlled by the bios, with enable and disable, just like it was with the P3 id number (or whatever it was called).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: vpro summary
by psychicist on Thu 30th Aug 2007 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: vpro summary"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

Yeah, the Chinese are so much more trustworthy than Intel. Give me a break.


Have I ever said that the Chinese are to be trusted more than Intel/AMD/Sun/HP/IBM/Fujitsu/ARM/MIPS etc. ?

The only thing I said was I don't want to come to depend upon a single supplier who could then do anything it wants in spite of customer preferences.

The only way to do anything about anything in a market economy is a publicity (the Internet is great for that) and boycotting products. When company sees its sales drop, the bean counters take notice and changes happen.


That's exactly what I am saying. I would like to see an open marketplace for all kinds of processors from all kinds of suppliers. And the ones that cater most to the consumer's wants or needs will sell more than the others who don't.

Besides, I'd bet that the TC chip will be controlled by the bios, with enable and disable, just like it was with the P3 id number (or whatever it was called).


I happen to be very wary of this kind of technology since I haven't asked for it. If I wanted it, it should be me making a conscious decision to purchase the hardware and not Intel/AMD's to ram it down our throat at all costs.

That's the advantage of being free and running free operating systems. I can choose the hardware that I like and not what I am forced to purchase.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: vpro summary
by kaiwai on Wed 29th Aug 2007 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: vpro summary"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There are loongson equiped laptops, the unfortunately thing, it isn't available overseas/outside China.

Its nice having cmopetition but the reality is, the world is moving to laptops. The only real viable alternative in that case is the VIA processor.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: vpro summary
by psychicist on Thu 30th Aug 2007 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: vpro summary"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

There are loongson equiped laptops, the unfortunately thing, it isn't available overseas/outside China.


Don't be too sure of that! I am in the Netherlands and I have a Fu Long system from Lemote. I am waiting for 2F based desktops and laptops.

root@darkstar:~# cat /etc/slackware-version
Slackware 12.0.0
root@darkstar:~# uname -a
Linux darkstar 2.6.18.1-lemote-desktop-loongson-3 #2 Sat May 12 18:57:10 CEST 2007 mips GNU/Linux
root@darkstar:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
system type : Lemote Fulong mini-PC board
processor : 0
cpu model : Godson2 V0.2 FPU V0.1
BogoMIPS : 443.39
wait instruction : no
microsecond timers : yes
tlb_entries : 64
extra interrupt vector : no
hardware watchpoint : no
ASEs implemented :
VCED exceptions : not available
VCEI exceptions : not available

Its nice having cmopetition but the reality is, the world is moving to laptops. The only real viable alternative in that case is the VIA processor.


Loongson is more powerful than VIA processors at lower power consumption. The drawback is you have to recompile all software for MIPS. I'm not so sure Sun is willing to cannibalize their SPARC sales with a Solaris MIPS port.

There are Loongson laptops but the ones produced up to now have been for internal use and development only. We expect them to become available soon as an upgraded Loongson 2F version.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: vpro summary
by aliquis on Wed 29th Aug 2007 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: vpro summary"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Sparc are already open, isn't it? That haven't give us more cpus before, why would it now? Also it won't help that much with actually producing it I'm told.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: vpro summary
by kaiwai on Wed 29th Aug 2007 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: vpro summary"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Sparc are already open, isn't it? That haven't give us more cpus before, why would it now? Also it won't help that much with actually producing it I'm told.


Right now it is now being aimed at niches; so far there are have been a couple of networking and I think a printer company who have signed up for it.

Ultimately what is required is a champion - an Intel sized company, or even something like VIA, who are willing to embrace the chip.

Reply Score: 2

Yet More to Go Wrong
by segedunum on Wed 29th Aug 2007 08:38 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Honestly, hardware manufacturers have been getting hardware production costs down to the bare minimum, and Intel wants to come along and tell them to increase the complexity?

Hardware manufacturers, including Intel, can barely get out chipsets and motherboards that work well without umpteen firmware updates even now.

Reply Score: 5

YAY!
by judgen on Wed 29th Aug 2007 11:02 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Now well all be locked into Vista hell, as OSS wont use digital signatures that way. And XP does not support TPM yet and it wont even boot on vPro plattform. Intel shows its true colors, still in bed with microsoft. And i hope they sell alot of systems to keep profits up, but i wont be the one buying them thats for sure even though i dont do illegal things. But if i cant run whatever OS i want and whatever app i want, screw it.

Reply Score: 2

elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

Now well all be locked into Vista hell, as OSS wont use digital signatures that way. And XP does not support TPM yet and it wont even boot on vPro plattform.


Get off the crack. OSes will boot just fine on vPro unless you specifically configure it to refuse to run unsigned binaries (and specify which signature(s) to trust), which I highly doubt it will come preconfigured to do unless you buy a prebuilt Vista PC.

You could just as easily sign your Linux kernel and make your computer refuse to boot Windows. Or even "third party" Linux kernels, like live CDs. Whatever you want.

vPro has no effect on you at all unless you choose to use it or use an OS that requires it.

Reply Score: 2