Via puts RNGs on new processors

Bill Frantz frantz at
Tue Apr 8 13:49:01 EDT 2003

At 9:39 AM -0700 4/8/03, Peter Gutmann wrote:
>"Perry E. Metzger" <perry at> writes:
>>The new Via Technologies x86 clone processors appear to have on-board
>>cryptography support, including a hardware random number generator.
>It's not really "including a hardware RNG", that appears to be the sum total
>of the crypto support, at least as far as anyone's been able to find out.  The
>exact details of using the hardware RNG are only available under NDA from Via,
>although anyone who can somehow get their hands on an appropriate Nehemiah-
>core C3 to test with and the Cryptography Research tech report should be able
>to put something together.

I wonder if the instruction to read the RNG is privileged?  (Certain
systems want to be able to control/intercept all inputs to a process so
they can reproducibly rerun it later.  If the RNG is not privileged, then
these techniques can't be used on this processor.)

Cheers - Bill

Bill Frantz           | Due process for all    | Periwinkle -- Consulting
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