Intel Preparing Linux Support For The "Protected Xe Path" PXP Functionality

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 14 November 2020 at 04:06 AM EST. 7 Comments
Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver developers have begun preparing support for a new feature previously not talked about publicly: Intel PXP or the "Protected Xe Path".

Intel PXP is about providing a hardware-protected session for clients running Intel Xe Graphics. The Intel Protected Xe Path is backed by encrypted video memory and leverages a TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) for protecting PXP sessions from other clients.

As part of Intel PXP is also the "PAVP" device for protected audio and video clients while leveraging the Intel Management Engine Interface (MEI).

I haven't come across any public documents detailing Intel PXP in detail so the initial analysis is based just on the code patches published so far. With the protected buffers and other functionality introduced, at a high level is similar to the AMD Radeon "Trusted Memory Zone" (TMZ) functionality for protected video playback and protected surfaces.

Given the timing of the PXP patches and the launch this week of the first Intel Server GPU that is focused on Android cloud gaming and other video purposes, PXP is presumably more about security where as AMDGPU TMZ at least to date is focused just on DRM'ed playback and other encrypted content as opposed to possible protected multi-user scenarios.

I'll keep monitoring and see what more comes of the Linux patches for Intel Protected Xe Path.
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