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Intel Updates x86/x64 Software Developer Manual With Tremont Architecture Details

Intel has today released the 43rd edition of its x86/x64 ISA developer manual designed to help developers see what's new in x86 world and make software optimizations for Intel's platform. In the latest edition of the manual, Intel has revealed the details of its low-power x86 "Tremont" architecture designed for 10 nm efficient, low-power computing. Announced last year in October, Intel promised to deliver a big IPC increase compared to the previous generation low-power CPU microarchitecture like the Goldmont Plus family. To achieve extra performance, Intel has implemented a lot of new solutions.

For starters, Tremont boasts better branch prediction unit, with increased capacity for instruction queue and better path-based conditional and indirect prediction. The front-end fetch and decode pipeline have been updated as well. Now the design is a 6-wide Out of Order Execution (OoOE) pipeline which can process 6 instructions per cycle. The Data cache is now upgraded to 32 KB. The load and store execution pipelines are now doubled and they are capable of two loads and two stores, or one load and one store, depending on the application. Tremont also updates on one important point and that is a dedicated store data port for integer and vector integer/floating-point data. Another big improvement is happening in the cryptography department. Tremont now features Galois-field instructions labeled as the GFNI family of instructions. There are two AES units for faster AES encryption and decryption. The already implemented SHA-NI cryptography standard was enhanced and it now is much faster as well. For mode in-depth report please check out Intel's x86/x64 manual.
Intel Tremont

Kanguru Adds New 256 GB Data Storage To Their Defender Family of Encrypted Flash Drives

Organizations around the world trust their sensitive data to Kanguru Defender Hardware Encrypted Flash Drives for their flexibility, mobility, and security. Kanguru expands on the Defender family with new 256 GB high-capacity drives to help security-conscious organizations get the most out of their investment.

With new 256 GB capacities on Kanguru Defender hardware encrypted USB flash drives, users can freely load enormous amounts of information on a single drive, without the worry of sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. Defender encrypted flash drives maintain the highest military-grade standards for secure data storage, with AES-XTS 256-Bit hardware encryption, FIPS 140-2 Certification, remote management capability, digitally-signed secure firmware and tamper-proof protection.

Xilinx Announces World's Highest Bandwidth, Highest Compute Density Adaptable Platform for Network and Cloud Acceleration

Xilinx, Inc. today announced Versal Premium, the third series in the Versal ACAP portfolio. The Versal Premium series features highly integrated, networked and power-optimized cores and the industry's highest bandwidth and compute density on an adaptable platform. Versal Premium is designed for the highest bandwidth networks operating in thermally and spatially constrained environments, as well as for cloud providers who need scalable, adaptable application acceleration.

Versal is the industry's first adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP), a revolutionary new category of heterogeneous compute devices with capabilities that far exceed those of conventional silicon architectures. Developed on TSMC's 7-nanometer process technology, Versal Premium combines software programmability with dynamically configurable hardware acceleration and pre-engineered connectivity and security features to enable a faster time-to-market. The Versal Premium series delivers up to 3X higher throughput compared to current generation FPGAs, with built-in Ethernet, Interlaken, and cryptographic engines that enable fast and secure networks. The series doubles the compute density of currently deployed mainstream FPGAs and provides the adaptability to keep pace with increasingly diverse and evolving cloud and networking workloads.
Xilinx Versal ACAP FPGA

AMD Processors Since 2011 Hit with Cache Attack Vulnerabilities: Take A Way

Cybersecurity researcher Moritz Lipp and his colleagues from the Graz University of Technology and the University of Rennes uncovered two new security vulnerabilities affecting all AMD CPU microarchitectures going back to 2011, detailed in a research paper titled "Take A Way." These include "Bulldozer" and its derivatives ("Piledriver," "Excavator," etc.,) and the newer "Zen," "Zen+," and "Zen 2" microarchitectures. The vulnerabilities are specific to AMD's proprietary L1D cache way predictor component. It is described in the security paper's abstract as a means for the processor to "predict in which cache way a certain address is located, so that consequently only that way is accessed, reducing the processor's power consumption."

By reverse engineering the L1D cache way predictor in AMD microarchitectures dating from 2011 to 2019, Lipp, et al, discovered two new attack vectors with which an attacker can monitor the victim's memory accesses. These vectors are named "Collide+Probe," and "Load+Reload." The paper describes the first vector as follows: "With Collide+Probe, an attacker can monitor a victim's memory accesses without knowledge of physical addresses or shared memory when time-sharing a logical core." The second vector is described as "With Load+Reload, we exploit the way predictor to obtain highly-accurate memory-access traces of victims on the same physical core." The two vulnerabilities have not been assigned CVE entries at the time of this writing. The research paper, however, describes the L1D cache way predictor in AMD processors as being vulnerable to attacks that can reveal contents of memory or even keys to a vulnerable AES implementation. For now there is no mitigation to these attacks, but the company is reportedly working on firmware and driver updates. Access the research paper here.
AMD L1D cache way predictor logic found vulnerable in Take A Way attack classes.

Quick Look: Hawk Security S-Drive

Continuing our quick look series, this time we cover a product that came to us after our article on portable encrypted storage was published. That very article came about from two companies asking us if we would be interested in checking out their products, and when a startup company formed by Russians who specialize in data protection and embedded security asks you the same, you answer yes! Hawk Security was set up in 2018, and is actually based out of Hong Kong now, and offers data encryption solutions with military-grade encryption standards. They sent out their S-Drive, a portable solution with a 3D NAND-based memory and certification galore, with performance and privacy as the selling point.

The Hawk Security S-Drive ships in a thick cardboard box with a two-piece packaging, with aptly named security seals on the sides. The inner box slides out to reveal a premium unboxing experience with thick foam cut to shape, which in turn houses the user manual, the drive, and the connecting cable itself. The manual is handy for not only knowing the locking and unlocking procedures for this encrypted drive, but also the default password for using it the first time. The cable terminates in a standard USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A connector on one end, but a 10-pin USB 3.1 Gen 1 Micro Type B super-speed connector on the other to help make the most of connection speeds. This means backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 ports is restricted to USB ports/hubs that provide enough power only, so keep that in mind. Read past the break for more on the drive.

Zhaoxin KaiXian x86 Processor Now Commercially Available to the DIY Channel

Zhaoxin is a brand that makes multi-core 64-bit x86 processors primarily for use in Chinese state IT infrastructure. It's part of the Chinese Government's ambitious plan to make its IT hardware completely indigenous. Zhaoxin's x86-64 CPU cores are co-developed by licensee VIA, specifically its CenTaur subsidiary that's making NCORE AI-enabled x86 processors. The company's KaiXian KX-6780A processor is now commercially available in China to the DIY market in the form of motherboards with embedded processors.

The KaiXian KX-6780A features an 8-core/8-thread x86-64 CPU clocked up to 2.70 GHz, 8 MB of last-level cache, a dual-channel DDR4-3200 integrated memory controller, a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex, and an iGPU possibly designed by VIA's S3 Graphics division, which supports basic display and DirectX 11.1 readiness. The CPU features modern ISA, with instruction sets that include AVX, AES-NI, SHA-NI, and VT-x comparable virtualization extensions. The chip has been fabricated on TSMC 16 nm FinFET process.

Kingston Technology Announces Data Center DC1000B NVMe SSD

Kingston Technology today announced the Data Center DC1000B M.2 NVMe SSD, optimized for server boot drive applications, featuring power-loss protection (PLP). Kingston's Data Centre DC1000B is a high-performance M.2 (2280) NVMe PCIe SSD using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 PCIe interface with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. DC1000B offers data centres a cost-effective boot drive solution with the reassurance that they are purchasing an SSD designed for server use. The DC1000B is ideally suited as an internal boot drive for use in high-volume rack-mount servers, as well as for use in purpose-built systems that require a high-performance M.2 SSD that includes on-board power loss protection (PLP).

M.2 NVMe SSDs are evolving within the data centre, providing efficiencies in booting servers to preserve valuable front-loading drive bays for data storage. Whitebox and Tier 1 Server OEMs are beginning to equip server motherboards with one, or sometimes two, M.2 sockets for boot purposes. While the M.2 form factor was originally designed as a client SSD form factor, its small physical size and high performance make it attractive for server use. Not all SSD are created equal and using a client SSD in a server application may result in poor, inconsistent performance.

TerraMaster Announces F5-422 5-Bay NAS Featuring 10GbE LAN

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, including network attached storage and direct attached storage, is announcing today the availability of its new storage solution for SME, professional and power users. The TerraMaster F5-422 features a powerful hardware configuration to bring excellent performance where it matters; for professionals and SME applications looking to maximize shared storage. Thanks to the introduction of the 10 GbE LAN, the TerraMaster F5-422 can deliver data faster. Backed by TerraMaster's latest TOS operating system, the F5-422 delivers an excellent feature set to any use. The TerraMaster F5-422 has an MSRP of $599.99 USD.

The F5-422 features a quad-core 1.50 GHz Intel CPU which has a boost clock of 2.30 GHz. 4 GB of DDR3 memory compliment the processor as well as built-in AES NI encryption. For maximum accessibility, the F5-422 features a 10 GbE port as well as 2x 1 GbE LAN, the F5-422 can be made available to a wide number of users without the bottleneck of traditional single LAN connections. The TerraMaster F5-422 is rated up to 670 MB/s write speeds and 650 MB/s read performance on a 5x 6 TB Seagate IronWolf RAID5 setup. Perfect for professionals like video editors working with 4K videos or others that need rapid access to large data with strict speed requirements.

Kingston Digital Introduces New KC600 SATA SSD

Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it is shipping the KC600 SATA SSD. Designed for use in desktop and notebook workloads, KC600 is a full-capacity SSD that provides remarkable performance. It comes in a 2.5" form factor using the SATA Rev 3.0 interface with backwards compatibility.

KC600 is optimized for functional system responsiveness with incredible boot, loading and transfer times. It supports a full-security suite that includes AES-XTS 256-bit hardware-based encryption, TCG Opal 2.0 and eDrive, allowing users to protect and secure their data. KC600 will be available in capacities up to 2 TB utilizing the latest 3D TLC NAND technology and has read/write speeds up to 550/520 MB/s, respectively. It is offered as both a stand-alone SSD or as a bundle kit which provides everything needed for an easy desktop or notebook upgrade installation.

InnoDisk Unveils the 3TS5-P Enterprise SSD with 2 DWPD Endurance

Engineers at Innodisk, using the latest 3D NAND vertical architecture technology, have delivered stellar performance and blistering speeds in the latest iteration of the company's new 3D NAND TLC SSD range. The Innodisk 3TS5-P SSD series complies with JESD219 standards complementing endurance workloads at enterprise level in situations where data compression or reduction is carried out for encryption purposes but doesn't distort the normal internal workings of the SSD.

The new 3D NAND TLC SSD series handles increased data storage demands in varied form-factors while maintaining read/write speeds for endurance and is designed for heavy workload applications. As data becomes the core of the IoT era and faster data speeds are required to necessitate reliability, the Innodisk 3D NAND TLC offers 2 drive writes per day (DWPD=2). This offers the potential of higher capacity within a smaller physical space thus lowering the mechanical interference and improving the airflow inside the system chassis, while also improving electrical use to reduce power consumption, boosting power consumption, and providing higher data write performance, as well as built-in hardware-based AES for data security.

PNY Rolls Out the XLR8 CS2311 SATA SSD

PNY today rolled out the XLR8 CS2311 line of SSDs. Built in the conventional 2.5-inch form-factors, the drives take advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The CS2311 offers sequential transfer rates of up to 560 MB/s reads with up to 530 MB/s writes, and comes in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB, priced at USD $49.99, $77.99, $129.99, and $279.99, respectively. The drives feature 3D TLC NAND flash, and cover all the basics: LPDC, ECC, 256-bit AES native encryption, and SMART. The company is backing these with 3-year warranties.

SMART Modular Announces Rugged S5E SLC SSD

SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SGH), and a leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions including memory modules, Flash memory cards and other solid state storage products, today announced a new addition to its SMART RUGGED product offering, the S5E 2.5" SATA SSD

The S5E SSD provides comprehensive encryption and security features such as quick erase, SMART's Security Data Elimination Technology (SDET) which meets current declassification standards, and erase triggers, making it an ideal data recording and storage tool for surveillance, defense and telemetry applications where data must remain secure or erased in mission-critical scenarios.

Greenliant Introduces 88 PX Series NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs

Greenliant has started sampling its NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive solid state drive (SSD) modules to customers requiring high-performance, high-capacity removable data storage that can withstand extreme environments. The new industrial temperature (-40°C to +85°C) 88 PX Series NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs use 3-bits-per-cell (TLC) 3D NAND flash memory and are built in the widely used 2242 and 2280 form factors.

88 PX Series NVMe ArmourDrive SSDs provide high performance and low latency for high transactional and business critical applications. NVMe is a highly scalable protocol optimized for efficient data transport over PCIe for storage on NAND flash. Small form factor, power efficient M.2 2242 products support the PCIe Gen3x2 interface and can reach up to 1,550/950 MB/s sequential read/write performance. Offered with hardware encryption and DRAM, M.2 2280 products support the PCIe Gen3x4 interface and can reach up to 3,470/3,000 MB/s sequential read/write performance. These versatile NVMe M.2 ArmourDrive form factors are ideal for space-constrained, embedded and enterprise systems in cloud computing, broadcasting, industrial gaming, factory automation, networking and security.

Kingston Introduces Next-Gen KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced KC2000, its next generation M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD for enterprise and power users. Kingston's KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD delivers powerful performance using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Offering superior read and write speeds up to 3,200 and 2,200MB/s, respectively, KC2000 delivers outstanding performance and endurance, and improves workflow in desktop, workstations and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

KC2000 is a self-encrypting drive that supports end-to-end data protection using 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and allows the usage of independent software vendors with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions such as Symantec , McAfee , WinMagic and others. KC2000 also has built-in Microsoft eDrive support, a security storage specification for use with BitLocker.

SMART Modular Announces HRS-T5E Rugged 2.5-inch SSD

SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: SGH), and a leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions including memory modules, Flash memory cards and other solid state storage products, today announced a new addition to its SMART RUGGED product offering, the HRS-T5E 2.5" SATA SSD. Powered by a flexible, custom flash controller, the HRS-T5E SSD provides read/write performance ideal for high throughput applications such as flight data recorders and sensor data capture. It is also well suited for high-reliability telemetry, surveillance, and other mission critical storage applications.

Available in capacities up to 4TB, SMART's new 3D TLC NAND Flash storage solution offers more reliability, superior performance, and requires less power and cooling in applications where traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) are typically used. Recent improvements in 3D NAND, endurance-enhancing data placement and error correction technology, make the T5E perfectly suitable as a cost effective replacement for 2D planar based SSDs for read-intensive applications.

Lexar Announces the World's Fastest 1TB Portable SSD with USB 3.1 Type-C

Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced the new Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable SSD. The Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable SSD features a stylish brushed aluminum finish and comes in a conveniently small, slim size that makes it easy to slip in your pocket and go. It's the perfect companion to accompany you across any terrain as it's drop-, shock-, vibration-resistant and comes with DataVault Lite software, an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption to help protect your essential files against corruption, loss, and deletion. Primed for power, the SL100 Pro has superior performance on the go, with speeds up 950 MB/s read and 900 MB/s write making it up to 2x faster than the SL1003. It also features a USB Type-C port that enables the users to store and share quickly with USB 3.1 speeds.

"We are proud to announce the Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable SSD, which is sleek, compact, and provides superior SSD-level performance at a competitive price. With professional photographers and videographers in mind, we created an SSD solution so they could travel at ease knowing their content is secure when compared with traditional hard drives," said Joel Boquiren, Director of Global Marketing.

Kingston Technology Launches New Data Center 500 Series SSDs

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it is shipping the Data Center DC500R Enterprise SSD optimized for read-intensive applications. This is the first drive in the DC500 series that implements Kingston's strict Quality of Service (QoS) requirements to ensure predictable random I/O performance as well as predictable low latencies over a wide range of read and write workloads. Next week, the company will ship its DC500M SSD optimized for mixed-use workloads.

DC500R is ideal for read-intensive applications such as boot up, web servers, virtual desktop infrastructure, operational databases and real-time analytics. Cloud service providers and software-defined storage architects can leverage the drive's consistent I/O and latency performance to deliver the QoS needed in demanding read-centric environments. At .5 DWPD (drive writes per day), DC500R allows IT administrators to maximize their investment in storage hardware with a drive that delivers on performance, endurance and reliability. DC500R is available in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB capacities.

Cherry Unveils DW 9000 Slim Combo

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, introduces the DW 9000 SLIM, a wireless desktop set with rechargeable battery. The mouse-keyboard set combines innovative features, outstanding craftsmanship, and a trendy, ultra-flat design. For flexibile use, both Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz wireless connections are supported. The CHERRY DW 9000 SLIM desktop set has a modern look, characterised by an ultra-flat design to ensure fatigue-free work sessions. The mouse and keyboard have a matching visual design and look great on the desk of every style-conscious consumer.

Intel Demoes "Sunnycove" High Performance Core

Intel is inching closer to its December 12 "2018 Architecture Day" event targeted at assuring investors and channel partners that its short-term and intermediate-term CPU architecture roadmap looks competitive, by even demonstrating early prototypes of future architectures. One such exhibit revealed a processor demo platform codenamed "Sunnycove." It's not clear if this is a derivative of an upcoming CPU architecture (such as "Ice Lake,") or if it's the first fundamentally new CPU core design since "Nehalem."

The numbers put out by Intel scream "up to 75% more 7-zip performance," without elaborating whether they mean compression, decompression, or encryption. Speaking of the latter, this chip has some serious encryption chops, including support for new encryption instruction-sets that include SHA-NI (secure hash algorithm new instructions), and vector-AES. Much of the chip is designed to accelerate encryption, and its applications could be focused on the enterprise.

QNAP Introduces New 10GbE and Thunderbolt 3 NAS TVS-x72XT Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the new TVS-x72XT NAS series, powered by 8th Gen Intel Core processors with both 10GBASE-T and Thunderbolt 3 high-bandwidth connectivity for tackling heavy workloads and smoothly transferring, displaying and editing 4K videos in real-time. By supporting M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs and graphics cards, the TVS-x72XT series provides the ability to boost performance and create a scalable working environment for high-speed file sharing and collaboration.

The TVS-x72XT series features quality hardware and excellent performance with multiple 10GBASE-T and Thunderbolt 3 ports to provide workstations with high-capacity and high-throughput storage," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "the TVS-x72XT series is also an exceptional storage base for iMac Pro users as they can flexibly choose between Thunderbolt 3 and 10GbE connections to suit their application and device needs."

Kingston Enhances Award-Winning IronKey D300 Encrypted USB

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, has added new features to its recent Cyber Defense 2018 Global Awards winning IronKey D300 encrypted USB Flash drive to improve device management and security. IronKey D300 is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and uses 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode. Shipping next week, a new Serialized version (D300S) with two new features will further enhance the drive's already advanced level of security to safeguard sensitive data.

IronKey D300S will have a unique serial number and bar code on the drive itself, allowing network administrators to simply read or scan the code instead of plugging in the drive. When a drive is deployed, returned or during any physical auditing or asset management of hardware, this feature will make the process more efficient and streamlined. The second feature, a virtual keyboard, enables users to enter a password with clicks of the mouse instead of using a physical keyboard, thereby providing a greater level of protection against any possible keylogging when using D300S on other computers.

SSD the Next Frontier for Cybersecurity: Vulnerabilities Found with Native Encryption

Compared to hard disk drives, the logic that makes solid-state drives (SSDs) tick is far more complex, involving a far more powerful SoC, complete with native storage, and sophisticated firmware that tells the controller where each bit of user data is physically stored across an array of NAND flash chips. Not surprisingly, the more sophisticated you make your SSD firmware, the more security vulnerabilities you leave, as cyber-security researchers at The Radboud University found out.

A research paper draft published by Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel tells us that hardware data encryption technologies built into modern SSDs are easy to bypass and recover protected data, rendering technologies such as TCG Opal useless. Most modern SSDs offer native data encryption, which encrypts data using popular methods such as AES, without posing an overhead for the host machine. "We found that many hardware implementations [of native encryption] have critical security weaknesses, for many models allowing for complete recovery of the data without knowledge of any secret."

Intel Intros 1.5TB Variants of Optane 905p 3D XPoint SSD

Intel today introduced 1.5 TB variants of the Optane 905p SSD that implements 3D XPoint memory. The drive comes in half-height PCI-Express 3.0 x4 add-on card, and 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with U.2 interface. Both variants offer sequential transfer rates of up to 2,600 MB/s reads, with up to 2,200 MB/s writes. Random access speeds are rated at up to 575,000 IOPS reads, with up to 550,000 IOPS writes. A function of its sheer capacity and 3D XPoint, endurance for these drives is rated at 27.37 PB (bytes written). The drives retain the feature set of their less capacious siblings, including 256-bit AES native encryption. The company didn't release pricing.

Silicon Power Intros AIC3C0P Industrial NVMe SSD

Silicon Power introduced the AIC3C0P, an industrial-grade PCI-Express NVMe SSD in the half-height add-in card form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface. Available in capacities of 800 GB, 1.6 TB, and 3.2 TB, the drive features MLC NAND flash. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 3200 MB/s reads, with up to 1850 MB/s writes, and 4K random access speeds of up to 750,000 IOPS reads, and up to 380,000 IOPS writes. Also on offer is power-loss protection, and native 256-bit AES data encryption. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Synology Unveils New XS, Plus, and Value Series NAS

ynology Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring: XS-series DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and M.2 SATA SSD supports; Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Greater performance and data resiliency for intensive workloads; and Value-series DS418: Introduction of 4K online transcoding capability.

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding.
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