[Beowulf] New Spectre attacks - no software mitigation - what impact for HPC?

Scott Atchley e.scott.atchley at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 04:07:21 PDT 2018

Hi Chris,

They say that no announced silicon is vulnerable. Your link makes it clear
that no ISA is immune if the implementation performs speculative execution.
I think your point about two lines of production may make sense. Vendors
will have to assess vulnerabilities and the performance trade-off.

Personally, I do not see a large HPC system being built out of
non-speculative hardware. You would need much more hardware to reach a
level of performance and the additional power could lead to a lower
performance per Watt (i.e., exceed the facility's power budget).


On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 2:33 AM, Chris Samuel <chris at csamuel.org> wrote:

> On Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:08:42 AM AEST Chris Samuel wrote:
> > Currently these new vulnerabilities are demonstrated on Intel & ARM, it
> will
> > be interesting to see if AMD is also vulnerable (I would guess so).
> Interestingly RISC-V claims immunity, and that looks like it'll be one of
> the
> two CPU architectures blessed by the Europeans in their Exascale project
> (along with ARM).
> https://riscv.org/2018/01/more-secure-world-risc-v-isa/
> All the best,
> Chris
> --
>  Chris Samuel  :  http://www.csamuel.org/  :  Melbourne, VIC
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