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Author Topic: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU  (Read 5685 times)

app103

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This is some pretty scary stuff when you really stop and think about it.


Quote
The AMD rep spelled it out in words that would have been undiplomatic coming from me: He said that the new chips will “block unauthorized access to the frame buffer.” In short, that means an unauthorized party can’t save the contents of the display to a file on disk unless the content owner approves it.

There is a short list of parties who will be unauthorized to access your frame buffer: You. There is a long list of parties who are authorized to access your frame buffer, and that list includes Microsoft, Apple, AMD, Intel, ATI, NVidia, Sony Pictures, Paramount, HBO, CBS, Macrovision, and all other content owners and enablers that want your machine to themselves whenever you’re watching, listening to, reading, or shooting monsters with their products.




What scares me about this is how the big companies will embrace this kind of thinking.

I know what you are thinking...I won't use AMD...I'll use Intel. But there is a problem with that. If Intel doesn't follow and do the same they could stand to lose a lot of the market share.

There has already been a Windows version that will only run on AMD64 processors. How hard would it be for Microsoft to make it so their OS will only run on approved DRM enabled CPU's?

That would mean that if OEM's want to include Windows, they would have to include an AMD processor.

This means that Intel would either have to put the same kind of DRM crap in their CPU's or the only thing that will run on them will be *nix. I think we know what Intel would do in a situation like this.

The average consumer isn't tech savvy...they don't know the difference between AMD and Intel...DRM and a bottle of Coca Cola...but they do know they want Windows. The average consumer being oblivious to this, will buy whatever is on the shelf...as long as it has Windows.

The uneducated consumers outnumber the rest of us. They will spoil the computing world as we know it...for all of us. They will go right along with the AMD/DRM crap like sheep.

Then we approach the day, for example, where you can't do a proper software review because the software vendor hasn't authorized YOU to take a screenshot of HIS application and your CPU says you aren't allowed to do that.

It won't matter how much you paid for the software...you will only be able to use it in a manner approved by the vendor.

So you say...ok...I won't run Windows...I'll install Linux. This won't bypass CPU level DRM. Your hands will still be tied.

f0dder

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2007, 06:57:53 AM »
Quote from: app103
There has already been a Windows version that will only run on AMD64 processors. How hard would it be for Microsoft to make it so their OS will only run on approved DRM enabled CPU's?
This is, fortunately, wrong. The reason the folder on XP-x64 DVDs is called AMD64 is that AMD was the company that came up with x68-64, which was then licensed to intel (quite the opposite world of how it usuall goes :) ). 64-bit XP works just fine on 64-bit intel CPUs.

Intel has always had bigger market share than AMD, even when P4s sucked and AMD introduced the great AMD64 CPUs. But after intel introduced the core2 and AMD has failed to come up with something new and decent, and are in financial troubles, I think we'll see intel's market share becoming even better.

The reason AMD is able to do this framebuffer locking is because they've bought up ATI, and now want to combined CPU and GPU in one chip. Pretty bad idea if you ask me, AMD already has a pretty bad yield on their CPU wafers, and making the chip immensely more complex is not going to help that situation. It's going to make the CPUs even more expensive too, unless AMD is going to take the traditional route and undersell the CPU/GPU combos.

Framebuffer locking is probably a feature that has to be enabled once som DRM-crap-app is run. Tada, out comes the reverse engineers to out rescue, just like they've done with HD-DVD and bluray.

Anyway, the thing we need to say... no, shout... NO!!! to isn't really as much the AMD CPUs, as it's Windows Vista and the companies that are obsessing with DRM. Vista is already taking steps to lock down stuff even without hardware DRM being available.

Quote from: app103
So you say...ok...I won't run Windows...I'll install Linux. This won't bypass CPU level DRM. Your hands will still be tied.
Actually that should work, the problem being of course that the software you'll want to use isn't available for linux, and never will be because the only way it'd ever get remotely considered was if the DRM features were present.
- carpe noctem

gjehle

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2007, 07:47:08 AM »
there is also an 64bit version of xp that will only run on intel
for some crappy reason you have to have different serial numbers for amd64 and intel64
talk about inconvenience

f0dder

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2007, 07:50:00 AM »
there is also an 64bit version of xp that will only run on intel
for some crappy reason you have to have different serial numbers for amd64 and intel64
talk about inconvenience
Umm, aren't you confusing x86-64 with Itanium? Those are quuuuuuite different beasts.
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2007, 08:30:11 AM »
This really is getting STUPID - the inmates appear to be running the asylum afterall. What will they think of next? RFID tags in our underwear to make sure that we are not using a business' washroom without being paying customers? Shh... don't give the paranoid freaks any ideas. Wait, am I a paranoid freak? Is this a viscious circle? I think I, we, have every right to be paranoid given the paranoia that is evident in the DRM movement. Paranoia among those with power and influence is very, very scary. Paranoia on the part of those that live under their influence is probably better termed "forewarned".
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2007, 06:28:50 PM »
The net effect of all this will ultimately be stasis - people will simply stick with Windows XP and their current hardware. The result will be a hardware market crash as people refuse to buy new systems or upgrade to new hardware and a software market crash as new software demands the new OSes and hardware.

Hell people will start stockpiling replacement parts!

I find it particularly interesting that while all this paranoid rubbish is being churned out you have companies like iTunes removing DRM from music. Presumably this has come from public and legal pressure to open up its market place - how long will it be before similar moves will hit the movie market?

Darwin

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2007, 07:48:39 PM »
Quote
I find it particularly interesting that while all this paranoid rubbish is being churned out you have companies like iTunes removing DRM from music. Presumably this has come from public and legal pressure to open up its market place - how long will it be before similar moves will hit the movie market?

Excellent point! I expect that you're right. This is what I was saying too (VERY indirectly) - the masses, being forewarned, will act accordingly. Hopefully, this will translate into people voting with their chequebooks - as in, keeping them in their pockets, as you suggest. OK, must put on the tinfoil hat and get back under my bed...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Deozaan

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2007, 10:48:54 PM »
... iTunes removing DRM from music.

They are? I'm almost impressed.


Carol Haynes

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2007, 04:36:16 AM »
They are releasing all of the EMI catalogue in MP3 format and have just got the go ahead to release the Beatle's catalogue for the first time. I would guess/hope that other labels are likely to follow suit.

Tinman57

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  And that's another reason I belong to organizations such as EFF, they fight Hollywood and the music industry in court on a weekly basis.

  But as Fodder said, hackers to the rescue........

Lashiec

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2007, 11:29:22 AM »
Well, maybe I'm going to get all wrong, but I think the author is not that tech savvy by not being aware of the latest developments on computer technology, not to mention you guys have misread the article.

Probably the AMD guy said the new GPUs (Radeon 2xxx) would have HDCP included in all models, unlike the Radeon 1xxx, which only had these kind of annoyances in certain models (like the one I bought the other day). So this are old news. As you may know, for a PC to be able to play HD contents (HD DVD and Blu-Ray) in its full glory you need "compatible" hardware. That is, a monitor with HDCP output, a graphic card with HDCP input, a compatible SO (right now, only Vista can, but I'm sure Leopard will, and Mr. Torvalds has this discussion with the GNU guys about how the GPLv3 ruled out DRM, the people over at the FSF finally changed the new license terms to make Linus happy), and a "approved" player (no VideoLAN or commie software like that LOL). If any fails, you'll get a worse movie, in terms of video and audio quality of course), or no movie at all (not sure about the latter, though). Before you think: "we'll buy NVIDIA", consider that GeForce cards have the same thing. Oh, and this'll probably extends to the Torrenza technology as well.

If I'm really wrong, and you're right, some questions arise. First, is truly possible for a technical point of view to put this kind of protection inside the CPU? I mean, HD playback is currently very taxing for the computer, even with high-end GPUs, due to the real time decryption of the contents the CPU has to make, and encryption is what it made of HDCP the ultimate hack ('til the good reverse engineers came around ;)). Are they going to put an extra step in the core for ultimate protection? How are they going to achieve this? Embedding a list of certificates with the approved companies? Are you going to get a "Please input your password" next time you say "Hey, Scarlett Johansson looks pretty here, I'm going to make a capture"?

Second, is people really going to tolerate these abuses? Remember what happened when Intel wanted to put an unique ID inside every Pentium III to help people with online shopping and bad guys with online tracking? And how the public backslash made Intel put the ID as "Off" by default? I'm sure that if AMD does this, people will get upset again. Unlike HD opticals, with a technical specification made almost in secret by the various companies developing them, who in turn have a good reason for the DRM as a few are also involved with content creation, AMD doesn't have this conflict of interests, and they surely have to make everything public. And for the illiterate computer users part, I know people want to play their legally acquired media in their computers without using the physical disc, and if the computer denies the possibility, they surely hit the P2P world or the streets in mass to correct this bug. Besides, this is not a good move for AMD future, as f0dder said Core 2 Duo was a big hit for them, and being mean is not the best way to make GOOD friends...

AND third, and most important... uhm, well, there's no third. My excuses for the long post.

f0dder

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 02:23:12 PM »
The technology that goes in the CPU (or at least chipset) could be public-key crypto verification of the BIOS/EFI code, which is basically the first layer of software that receives control when you power on your box. Okay, so now BIOS/EFI is basically unhackable, and BIOS/EFI would then proceed to only accept a crypto signed OS kernel and drivers.

Basically any OS these days have a notion of "kernel" and "user" mode - user mode can't touch kernel mode stuff (at least when no flaws are exploited). Kernel mode requires drivers, and those has to be signed. On top of that, add a HyperVisor that controls kernel mode, and is CPU enforced and pretty hard to break out of (meant to be impossible, but might still be possible to come up with some clever tricks).

The difficulty of getting your drivers signed when you're a small-time developer can make things like daemon-tools, installable EXT3 filesystem drivers etc. pretty hard to come by in the future - and of course anything "malicious" in the eyes of Big CorpTM of course won't stand a chance of being signed.
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Lashiec

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 02:57:23 PM »
Well, it seems that Intel beat AMD in this regard. Read the news, especially the second page, which explains everything in detail. So, ready to wear the tinfoil hat? ;D

EDIT: The second page also mentions the good part about Intel technology, a security sandbox, quite interesting. Of course, the balance between your security and the security of earning dollars on part of content providers is hard to achieve. As always, everything useful created by humankind has this double-edged character.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 03:06:09 PM by Lashiec »

f0dder

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2007, 05:55:05 AM »
Lashiec: double-edged sword indeed. I hate DRM with a passion, but Intel's VT stuff has really great uses as well...
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PaladinMJ

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Re: How AMD plans to take over the market by adding DRM directly to CPU
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2007, 12:57:37 AM »
the whole big brother, tell me what i can do with something I own drives me insane. If I bought the thing how i use it is MY concern no one else's. if I want to rip a DVD to HD to watch on the go or WHATEVER its my right. FAIR USE! If the fair Use lobby had the monetary impact these DRM groups did we would be ok.

I'm ranting and making no sense I better just SHUT UP. ***SIGH***
When I have a mission, it consumes me; I will not be satisfied until the job is done. I have a strong sense of duty, and a strong sense of direction. Changes in the tide don't phase me - I always know which way the wind blows, and I know how to compensate for it. I get on poorly with people like myself.