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posted by mrpg on Friday January 12, @07:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the that's-epyc dept.

Amid the ongoing Meltdown fiasco, Intel has only one way to go in the data center... down. Intel may be forced to offer discounts or rebates to prevent customers from eventually moving to AMD x86 chips (such as Epyc) or even ARM chips:

Intel chips back 98% of data center operations, according to industry consultancy IDC. [...] Microsoft said on Tuesday the patches necessary to secure the threats could have a significant performance impact on servers.

[...] For Gleb Budman's company, San Mateo-based online storage firm Backblaze, building with ARM chips would not be difficult. "If ARM provides enough computing power at lower cost or lower power than x86, it would be a strong incentive for us to switch," said Budman. "If the fix for x86 results in a dramatically decreased level of performance, that might increasingly push in favor of switching to ARM."

Infinitely Virtual, a Los Angeles-based cloud computing vendor, is counting on Intel to replace equipment or offer a rebate to make up for the loss in computing power, Chief Executive Adam Stern said in an interview. "If Intel doesn't step up and do something to make this right then we're going to have to punish them in the marketplace by not purchasing their products," said Stern, whose company relies exclusively on Intel processors.

[...] Both Qualcomm and Cavium are developing ARM chips aimed at data centers. Cavium said it aimed to rival the performance of Intel chips for applications like databases and the content-delivery networks that help speed things like how fast online videos load.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Qualcomm Joins Others in Confirming its CPUs Suffer From Spectre, and Other Meltdown News 31 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Qualcomm has confirmed its processors have the same security vulnerabilities disclosed this week in Intel, Arm and AMD CPU cores this week.

The California tech giant picked the favored Friday US West Coast afternoon "news dump" slot to admit at least some of its billions of Arm-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips and newly released Centriq server-grade processors are subject to the Meltdown and/or Spectre data-theft bugs.

[...] Qualcomm declined to comment further on precisely which of the three CVE-listed vulnerabilities its chips were subject to, or give any details on which of its CPU models may be vulnerable. The paper describing the Spectre data-snooping attacks mentions that Qualcomm's CPUs are affected, while the Meltdown paper doesn't conclude either way.

[...] Apple, which too bases its iOS A-series processors on Arm's instruction set, said earlier this week that its mobile CPUs were vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown – patches are available or incoming for iOS. The iGiant's Intel-based Macs also need the latest macOS, version 10.13.2 or greater, to kill off Meltdown attacks.

Cray CS500 Supercomputers to Include AMD's Epyc as a Processor Option 10 comments

Cray supercomputers with AMD Epyc processors will start shipping in the summer:

Cray is adding an AMD processor option to its CS500 line of clustered supercomputers.

The CS500 supports more than 11,000 nodes which can use Intel Xeon SP CPUs, optionally accelerated by Nvidia Tesla GPUs or Intel Phi co-processors. Intel Stratix FPGA acceleration is also supported.

There can be up to 72 nodes in a rack, interconnected by EDR/FDR InfiniBand or Intel's OmniPath fabric.

Cray has now added an AMD Epyc 7000 option to the CPU mix:

  • Systems provide four dual-socket nodes in a 2U chassis
  • Each node supports two PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots (200Gb network capability) and HDD/SSD options
  • Epyc 7000 processors support up to 32 cores and eight DDR4 memory channels per socket

Top-of-the-line Epyc chips have 32 cores and 64 threads. An upcoming generation of 7nm Epyc chips is rumored to have up to 48 or 64 cores, using 6 or 8 cores per Core Complex (CCX) instead of the current 4.

Related: AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores
Intel's Skylake-SP vs AMD's Epyc
Data Centers Consider Intel's Rivals


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:25AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:25AM (#621295)

    Intel will just fix the problems at a hardware level, and then take a loss on promoting itself through "artificially" cheap chips.

    This noise about switching is the same as Barcelona's noise about switching to FOSS; like Munich, it's all just an attempt to make an established supplier reduce prices.

    People want x86 anyway. It's the only thing that works.

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @07:38AM (#621298)

      Something rancid is afoot, but I can't quite put my fetid penis on what it is. Wait... it's your asshole, and my disease-ridden cock is already inside it! Such a thing! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! There's mushy feces inside, and it's hugging my nasty little friend! Ah, I just squirted my cockpoles into your fecal womb! Get pregnant, get pregnant!

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @08:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @08:30AM (#621303)

      Slewp, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

      What was that!? Wow... it's like your snap was made to be slewped! As proof, it's drippin' with spit ass I speak! A powerful entity slewped from the bottom of your snappycrack all the way to the top, and all in under a yoctosecond...

      The one who did this couldn't have been anyone other than One Who Slewps! What a powerful individual!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Bot on Friday January 12, @12:21PM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @12:21PM (#621340)

      except Munich actually migrated and saved money by switching to linux, even if the newer administration played the usual political tactic of destroying whatever the previous one was doing outside the real agenda. even if only because Microsoft has to make a good offer.

  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @09:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @09:21AM (#621319)

    Intel will just fix the problems at a hardware level in the next production, and then take a loss on promoting itself through "artificially" cheap chips.

    This noise about switching is the same as Barcelona's noise about switching to FOSS; like Munich, it's all just an attempt to make an established supplier reduce prices.

    People want x86, anyway. It's the only thing that works.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @12:50PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @12:50PM (#621346)

    Isn't this the kind of story that could be automatically added to the SN story queue in a year? Then we could discuss how effective Intel was at regrouping after this setback.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 12, @05:05PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday January 12, @05:05PM (#621448) Journal

      I don't think eds want non-subs ("go look for this story") to suddenly appear in the sub queue 6-12 months later. I might be wrong.

      Interested parties could write a note to themselves to submit it. Or we could rely on a news site to do the Meltdown 1 Year in Review story and just... notice it.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 12, @02:00PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 12, @02:00PM (#621366)

    Even if AMD and ARM are vulnerable to similar threats, exploits will likely require development effort and customization to work on the different hardware.

    Running a massive datacenter on homogeneous hardware does make configuration and servicing easier, but it also gives an attacker a single target - one hit with a virus and your whole center can go down.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @02:01PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @02:01PM (#621367)

    Intel's best hope is to put out a chip that works better than others.
    This may just take fixing this bug in their current part?
    Then price it so that if you are upset with them and buy somebody else's to punish them you also punish yourself.
    Given a short term gain, folks will forget that Intel is not long term nice, and take the gain.

    For this to be more that a speed bump, somebody else has to meet them in speed on the next chip.
    Is anybody ready to do that?

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday January 12, @04:37PM (2 children)

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Friday January 12, @04:37PM (#621433) Homepage

      Is it at all fixable by rewriting the CPU's microcode? Which would presumably be carried out using the Management Engine? In which case, is everyone that has disabled their Management Engine out in the cold?

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 12, @08:24PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @08:24PM (#621538)

        is everyone that has disabled their Management Engine out in the cold?

        Proposed Conspiracy Theory: Maybe that's the point. The vuln was intentionally baked into the chips such that either you give the NSA and god knows how many foreign govts and corps complete access to all your data via the mgmt engine OR you have a wide open flaw such that every skript kiddie on the planet has full access to all your data. Either way, "they" win. This is such a great and devious plan that even if its not implemented today, the plan should be remembered because someone will surely implement it sooner or later.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:43PM (#621612)

        Microcode can be loaded with dumb ME, as in home computer that probably has ME but doesn't really expose it. Maybe it's even missing or at least only local functions exist, saving the OEM some license money.

        Anyway, Intel is not offereing microcode updates for all the CPUs, only last ones, and they don't seem to be full fixes, all OSes still need to help with the workarounds.

  • (Score: 1) by ElizabethGreene on Friday January 12, @05:59PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Friday January 12, @05:59PM (#621464)

    I've been thoroughly unimpressed with AMD's response to the Spectre vulnerability. It took them until yesterday to publish anything other than a PR blurb as their "security advisory".
    https://www.amd.com/en/corporate/speculative-execution [amd.com]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Friday January 12, @06:34PM

      by HiThere (866) on Friday January 12, @06:34PM (#621482)

      That seems like a well reasoned response to the problem. They aren't trying to spin it as someone else's problem. It's even a slight explanation as to why the MS patches crashed a few machines (without mentioning MS).

      Additionally, Spectre hasn't been currently shown to break hardware protections, unlike Meltdown, and is thus much less serious.

      Given that Intel's first response was to try to confuse everyone, and then to lie about things, well, this is a superior response even if it wasn't quite as quick.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
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