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NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images

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  • #21
    Originally posted by R00KIE View Post
    I'm not sure all of this would fly but some might. Initially chips with defects are sold in cheaper slower products with the defect areas disabled in firmware, but as yields increase fully functional chips are crippled in firmware to match that initial feature level, so having to pay the difference to unlock that is a possibility. Unlocking any form of overclock and/or SLI might also be something you could have to pay for.

    All the rest seem too much of a stretch and would probably get lots of complaints and bad press unless the initial cost of the card is much lower than it is now, but then again, never underestimate the greediness of corporations and the resignation of consumers to get stuff like this thrown down their throats.
    I doubt even that. Exposing the deficiencies most likely voids warranty

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    • #22
      Originally posted by birdie View Post
      e.g. GPUs can work with system memory more or less directly, just like CPUs, so it makes sense to verify firmware to avoid nasty things which NVIDIA cannot control.
      Like CPU yes, but CPU doesn't have signed firmware AFAIK.

      Originally posted by birdie View Post
      Besides firmware might control many crucial things like voltages, fans, etc., so this way NVIDIA guarantees that its products won't be misused and won't die due to some open source developer mistake.
      Open-Source developers won't do mistake if all was clearly documented...

      In fact NVIDIA prefers to "protect" their hardware with signed firmware instead of clearly documents their hardware. We are completely in a closed-source strategy. NVIDA is clearly not in the path of open-source.

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      • #23
        Benjamin Franklin FTW

        NVIDIA requiring signed firmware images is being done to better protect the hardware from being misprogrammed for security reasons.
        Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. //-- Benjamin Franklin

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        • #24
          Originally posted by R00KIE View Post
          ...so having to pay the difference to unlock that is a possibility. Unlocking any form of overclock and/or SLI might also be something you could have to pay for.
          You guys lack imagination If I was Nvidia, I wouldn't charge consumers to unlock features, I'd license unlock signatures to game manufacturers. You wanna use all 1024 cores in your next game? That'll cost you 1% of sales. Too much? It wasn't for your competitors, they have nice graphics.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by whitecat View Post
            Like CPU yes, but CPU doesn't have signed firmware AFAIK.


            Open-Source developers won't do mistake if all was clearly documented...

            In fact NVIDIA prefers to "protect" their hardware with signed firmware instead of clearly documents their hardware. We are completely in a closed-source strategy. NVIDA is clearly not in the path of open-source.
            A CPU's firmware typically can't trivially be replaced though. Waiting for an open source CPU

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            • #26
              Originally posted by System25 View Post
              Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. //-- Benjamin Franklin
              That's about politics, not commerce. Look, it's plain simple: The vendor must make it hard for you as end-user to use product against as defined in warranty, otherwise they may open up a venue for lawsuits. If a customer can unintentionally break warranty conditions, it's quite likely they are eligible for compensation anyway if hardware breaks

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              • #27
                Originally posted by OneTimeShot View Post
                It wasn't for your competitors, they have nice graphics.
                Video games are unique. 2 or 3 games doesn't "competes". Players buy the games they want, they aren't reviewing video games like they review CPU or GPU in specialized web sites.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                  A CPU's firmware typically can't trivially be replaced though. Waiting for an open source CPU
                  There is so called "microcode" and it default version from on-chip ROM can be replaced. Yet it is rather low level thing which controls how complex CISC commands are trasnlated to more simple micro-ops which are actually executed by underlying hardware blocks. AMD not seems to be inclined on protecting this area. Intel does some encryption. At least both allow to redistribute and use updated uCode files, which allows Linux to fix some CPU bugs on boot (see message like this: microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <[email protected]>, Peter Oruba in boot log).

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                    That's about politics, not commerce.
                    This is about HUMANS. It is not important if it is politics, commerce or whatever else. This works universally and there is no excuse for being tyrant. Tivoization has became a rather negative term because people hardly like tyrants who are "protecting" you from your own freedom. So I wish Nvidia a slow, painful death. What a bastardized company! I would be really happy if they happen to be bankrupts so we no longer have to encounter that wretched hardware at all.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by System25 View Post
                      There is so called "microcode" and it default version from on-chip ROM can be replaced. Yet it is rather low level thing which controls how complex CISC commands are trasnlated to more simple micro-ops which are actually executed by underlying hardware blocks. AMD not seems to be inclined on protecting this area. Intel does some encryption. At least both allow to redistribute and use updated uCode files, which allows Linux to fix some CPU bugs on boot (see message like this: microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.00 <[email protected]>, Peter Oruba in boot log).
                      Okay, I haven't ever seen those but trusting you on this one. Will dig up more info on uCode file format before continuing on this one.

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