[Cryptography] Did Spectre help torpedo Qualcomm?
phill at hallambaker.com
Sun Sep 30 12:57:15 EDT 2018
On Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 8:41 PM Florian Weimer <fw at deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
> * Henry Baker:
> > I wonder if the server chips Qualcomm developed were hopelessly
> > haunted by Spectre?
> I find that extremely unlikely. There is a point (regarding cost or
> power efficiency) at which most customers would stop caring. The
> whole zoo of issues is now largely perceived as a software problem
There are a few applications and a few deployments in which SPECTRE might
lead to a compromise. Most of them are SSL private keys leaking in
co-located Web server environments.
As far as cryptography goes, just do all your private key operations on
trustworthy hardware, problem solved.
I suspect that a much bigger issue for Qualcom resulting from SPECTRE would
be that Intel suddenly required a large number of additional engineers and
were willing to almost pay anything to get them.
Before doing crypto, I did massively parallel computing. People should
probably start revisiting the Transputer architecture. Take a processor
with 16 cores, 16GB Ram and a 512GB CF Express card and you have a server
in a module the size of a 2.5" disk drive. Add a couple of 10GB Ethernet
ports and your only real problem is how to dispose of waste heat.
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