Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Meltdown and Spectre Reply To: Meltdown and Spectre

Post count: 52

I’m really curious on how the mill can defend against spectre.

As I understand it, there are really 2 ways to have speculative execution in the mill:

1) Branch prediction, somewhat similar to your typical OOO, only you predict exits.
2) Compiler scheduled. The compiler flattens 2 or more branches, executes them all simultaneously and then picks the result of the winning branch.

Both mechanisms can have side-channel effects, for example in the cache or the spiller. Especially the compiler scheduled speculation since it can be very large.

An attacking program can then check the status of the cache lines or whether one of his scratch pad areas have been spilled and deduce secret data from the victim across turfs. Other than checking array bounds (tough or impossible in C), how on earth can you defend against that?

Or maybe there is something I am not aware of?

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  goldbug.