Nvidia Takeover of UK Chip Designer Arm
“NVIDIA Corp. purchased Arm Holdings Ltd. in a deal valued at $1. 2 billion in November 2012,” says Computer Security, following this article on Computer Systems Internals. This article describes the security issue, as well as what might happen if Arm is acquired by another company. This article also suggests how to prevent the attack.
The vulnerability is to exploit the fact that most NVIDIA systems come with Nvidia’s GeForce graphics processors (GPU). They include the popular Quadro and Tesla GPUs. These GPUs all have very similar interfaces, which could be used for arbitrary code execution, in addition to the Nvidia proprietary code.
It is possible that another company may be able to create an image of the GPU that contains the same functionality as Nvidia, albeit outside of the Nvidia’s software.
Because the arm architecture is not as well developed as Nvidia’s, it might be possible for an attacker to use the same code that is used in the Nvidia GPUs but instead of using the Nvidia GPU’s graphics processor, use the arm’s processor. To be more specific, the vulnerability is to exploit the fact that the arm architecture has an instruction set incompatible with Nvidia’s.
If an attacker compromises the Arm chip, they could have full control of the device and the complete control of the system.
• First, extract the ARM instruction set.
The instructions are the same as in the Nvidia’s GPUs, except for adding a couple of instructions, most likely to allow for certain types of calculations in specific situations. The ARM instruction set is not compatible with Nvidia’s GPU.
• The ARM instruction set is extracted and used.
As part of the extraction, the ARM instruction set is parsed with the JIT compiler to create the ARM architecture and instructions.
• The CPU and GPU use the instructions from the arm instruction set.
As a consequence, the GPU will execute the instructions in its own code, and the CPU will not recognize the instructions.
The Nvidia takeover of UK chip designer Arm
[An updated article, with additional background and additional references is now available at Computer Security. The new text is embedded below.
On January 28th, the UK company Arm AG (later ARM) released an application programming interface (API) to allow third parties to develop chips for use in the UK’s Defence Industry. The API was called “Application Programming Interface (API),” and it allowed developers to write code to the interface. As such, it also opened a new frontier for the development of embedded software, because it gave developers flexibility to write for a wide range of hardware architectures, including ARM’s custom ARM® Cortex®-A53 Core™ based processors. The API also allowed developers and system administrators to more readily customize the operating systems they installed, by writing customized kernels. The API can also be used to implement a system called the Open Platform Device Alliance, a community-based effort aimed at promoting the open development of embedded “devices, systems, and services of all kinds,” as the Open Platform Alliance defines it.
Because of the wide range of platforms and architectures it could support, the API required a complete rewrite of the architecture for the Cortex-A53 based chips, including the instruction set, the memory model, the DIMM memory modules, and the interface to the hardware. The original developers of the API realized that this rewrite was going to be a major undertaking, though, because the API was to be written entirely by the new developers of the Cortex-A53 based devices. Furthermore, because Arm did not have the staff or money to develop the new architecture, the new developers of the API were required to submit a complete rewrite of the architecture. Consequently, the original developers and contributors of the API were put at a tremendous disadvantage in comparison to the existing device makers; therefore, it is fair to state that the code for the API became proprietary to Arm within a year of its release.
The developers of the API had to change the interface that the ARM chip used for communication, otherwise the system would be unable to communicate at all with Arm’s new device. The new interface had to be written entirely by the new developers. The engineers developed an interface called DIPCAL (Digital Interface Protocol Controller- Access Register) which allowed the ARM chip to communicate with the new interface.
Arm and the CMA
The Arm and the CMA in a nutshell.
In this article, we shall discuss the concepts involved in the analysis of Arm systems, a class of computer systems. We shall discuss the Arm architecture of a CMA based system (a system with CPU-Arm CPU). We shall start with the CMA in terms of what was initially designed for the purpose of the CMA and analyze the various aspects of this architecture. The CMA concept is a fundamental feature of a computer that is capable of supporting high throughput in a low latency manner.
At first, we shall describe the CMA and its architecture and then, the different aspects of the Arm architecture.
The CMA architecture of a computer is based on a single instruction-set CPU. The CMA architecture consists of a processor core and one or several hardware extensions. The CMA architecture was originally designed to allow processors to support fast parallel processing, e. , in a multicore configuration. The CMA architecture does not have any instruction-level parallelism. Instead, the architecture supports a higher level of parallelism in a higher level of abstraction.
To describe the CMA architecture, we will use the term “CMA” for CPU-ARM CPU. The ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) architecture is an instruction-set based on the AArch64 instruction set architecture defined by ARM Ltd. ARM Architecture allows higher-level parallelism, e. , by allowing instruction-level parallelism (ILP).
One of the AArch64 specification is the CMA architecture. The CMA architecture is a multiprocessor based architecture. It does not support instruction-level parallelism (ILP). However, it supports an instruction level parallelism (ILP).
The CMA architecture differs from the C1 architecture in the sense that it is a multi-level architecture. This means that it supports more than one level of abstraction. This allows the CMA architecture to define ILP.
This architecture is based on a Single Instruction-Set Computer (SIC) which is a type of processor core which consists of the hardware resources to execute multiple instructions. The architecture is characterized by a single programmable core.
The Nvidia Takeover, probed by the CMA,
Nvidia Takes Over The CMA! By: Matthew N.
It’s a common belief in the computer security world that Nvidia’s purchase of the chip design and manufacturing company Infiniband Networks in 2006 is the key factor behind the rise of the modern day “cloud” security threats. However, this belief is somewhat at odds with what Nvidia has been doing with the CMA over the last several years.
We have received reports that in 2006 Nvidia’s CMA bought out Infiniband Networks, and not the other way around. Some of our reporters have had contact with Infiniband Networks management about this situation and the reality of this situation is fairly simple. Infiniband Networks has always belonged to Infiniband, and Infinband. Net has always belonged to Nvidia.
As of early 2007 the CMA, Infiniband Networks, and Infinband. Net were all controlled by the same company called “Infiniband Services, Inc. ” (ISI), who also owns the company that is called “Infiniband Networks, Inc. ” (INNI) and that is currently incorporated as “The CMA”. Infinband Services, Inc. and ISI are both wholly owned subsidiaries of INNI. So, the CMA and INNI are a single, one entity as they continue to have a company “The CMA” as their legal entity.
The CMA and INNI are one entity, and this means Infiniband Services has always been and is the owner of Infiniband Networks. This is the information we received by way of an e-mail forwarded by a former CMA employee that we received from a “former manager” at the company. This e-mail was forwarded to us through a former CMA employee who went on to become a CMA supervisor. I must warn you that the e-mail and the response that I received regarding this e-mail was not provided to any of my readers directly.
According to the e-mail a former INNI manager told me that Infiniband Services, Inc. and INNI are one entity and that “Infiniband Services, Inc.
Tips of the Day in Computer Security
Welcome to the beginning of a new week. I hope that it finds you well at the end of another long week preparing for the new semester. This week’s topics of the day, starting with a look at the top ten computer security questions, can fit on these pages at the end of the week.
So what questions should a computer security professional ask a prospective employee? Here are the top 10 questions that should be asked.
It’s not a perfect list. I’m sure that a prospective employee would probably be interested in more details, but I think that this list gives you a good starting point.
“What do you do for a living?” is always good to keep in mind. It’s a question many people can answer truthfully.