Major Security Flaws Uncovered in AMD Chips

CTS Labs, which is a security firm based out of Israel, recently published findings of its research which helped it uncover numerous critical vulnerabilities in security and exploitable manufacturer backdoors in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips. This can enable hackers to control computers and networks and access sensitive data.

CTS pointed out overall 13 flaws that can put organizations at a considerably higher risk of cyberattacks.
Weeks earlier, software giant Intel spoke of similar flaws in hardware, which it named as Spectre and Meltdown. This triggered widespread concerns over computer security and a congressional inquiry too.

As per CTS, the recently discovered flaws could compromise the new chips of AMD that handle applications in an enterprise, aerospace, and industrial sectors. The chip also handles it in consumer products.

AMD Say It Would Look At It

In the white paper of 20 pages, the researchers stated that the AMD Secure Processor, which is like the gatekeeper in charge of protecting the AMD processors, has crucial vulnerabilities that can enable malicious actors to install malicious code permanently inside the Secure Processor itself. This could result in AMD customers becoming susceptible to industrial espionage which is undetectable by most security solutions.

AMD, which is one of the largest semiconductor firms specializing in servers and PCs’ processors, said it was examining the latest report. It said security was a top priority for it and that it has been making continued efforts to ensure safety of its users.

As per some, the security threat on account of the flaws in AMD could be worse than those affecting Intel chips.

AMD Experiences 12% Plunge in Shares in After-hours Trading

Advanced Micro Device, leading chip maker in the world, has spent 2017 slowly launching new products that provided outstanding performance for servers, cloud data centers, and personal computers. In the third financial quarter, that resulted into overall growth in revenue by 26% and gross income rose to US$71 million – a sign of first substantial profits since the year 2014.

But the Wall Street was not convinced with those fiscal results released on October 24, 2017. Stock price of AMD, which had increased by 26% of far this season, plunged to as low as 12% in the after-hours stock trading.

The dip happened even though the sales revenue was accounted for US$1.6 billion, which was more than the estimated figure of US$1.5 billion by the analysts. This revenue also adjusted earnings per stock of 10 cents surpassed the average projection of 8 cents. The net income of US$71 million was the recorded to be the first since the mid of 2016 – though that was associated to the trading of some production facilities. The last net profit was recorded long back in 2014’s third quarter.

The concern is matching the story of increasing interest in the new Ryzen chips of AMD for personal computers, Epyc chips and Verg chips for servers and graphics respective, and the AI processing with a few uncommon items in the fresh report of the quarter.

One issue that AMD seems to be stuck at is patenting and is not ready to give out more details. It only said that its patents were about both graphics and central processors and did not give any information about how much revenue it generated.


AMD Announces Launch of Radeon RX 500-series Graphic Cards

In addition to AMD’s new Ryzen 5 processors, the company has announced a new lineup of graphic cards called Radeon RX 500-series. In accordance to Radeon RX 400-series which was released by AMD 2016, RX 500-series comprises a new low-end GPU which focuses essentially on e-sports as well as home theater PCs, aspiring to justify the tagline, “Polaris refined and evolved.”

Refresh Issues Addressed
Refresh rate has been a cause of concern for enthusiasts since long, and AMD made striking progress with RX 400-series, and has made further improvements with RX 500-series, which is a reflection of combat issues addressed by the original cards. Radeon RX 480 was very well received by the enthusiasts, but its limitation was reached at a maximum of 1,266MHz boost speed. RX 400-series and now RX 500-series are two steps in positive direction, overcoming power-draw controversy that emerged during the launch, which was later readily fixed by AMD.

RX 500-series
AMD has powered the Radeon RX 500-series with its third generation 14nm process, capable of achieving much higher clock speeds managed by its predecessors. Besides a 1,340MHz boost clock in addition to 1,257MHz base clock, AMD has included a new power state in the Radeon RX 500-series, which allows it run at significantly reduced power when idle, using multi-monitor setups, and while watching video. With Radeon, AMD aspire considerable temperature and power gains in games that support the Radeon Chill.

While Radeon RX 580 can crank up clocks from 150W to 185W, Radeon RX 560 provides notable increment over the RX 460, reaching 1,175MHz base and 1,275MHz boost speeds. On the other hand, Radeon RX 550 is an entirely fresh model targeting home theater PC aficionados and e-sports gamers, with 2GB memory, running over a 128-bit bus. A limited number of models are also expected to offer 4GB capacity.