Andes Processors Are Not Susceptible to Meltdown and Spectre Attacks

HSINCHU, TAIWAN – January 24, 2018 – Recent reports on two security vulnerabilities for processors spanning multiple instruction set architectures have brought the security of processor hardware to high attention worldwide. With years of experience on developing embedded processors for the industry and world markets, Andes Technology Corporation is determined to ensure the security of embedded systems built on Andes processors. Andes announced today, after its thorough review, none of its processors are affected by either Meltdown or Spectre flaws.

“Security is a major concern in SoC designs of Andes customers and we have been watching closely the recent Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, which exploit speculative execution to steal sensitive data, ” said Dr. Charlie Su, CTO and Senior VP of R&D of Andes Technology Corp. “After detailed analysis, we conclude that all AndesCore™ processors are immune to both attacks due to the way our processor pipelines are designed. No subsequent accesses will be possible when privilege violations are encountered in our designs and our branch speculation does not allow subsequent instructions to go too far to allow side-channel information leak. Additionally, our secure AndesCore S8 processor not only offers strong protection against unauthorized accesses such as Meltdown and Spectre, but also strives to not leak information under physical attacks such as high energy radiation attacks.”

“While the whole world is watching the further development of the incident, Andes takes initiative to review and announce the review result to ensure that our customers are not vulnerable. Since none of the Andes processors are affected, no mitigations are needed for Andes embedded SoCs,” stated Andes President, Frankwell Jyh-Ming Lin. “However, for the benefit of strengthening the security of AndesCore processors, Andes continues to track the latest analysis and updates on processor security issues as references for our future processor designs.”

Andes provides N, D, E, S and NX families of AndesCore processors. While it is the primary goal of the S family processors to serve as heavy-armored security processors, Andes recognizes that processors of the rest of AndesCore families may also need to process confidential information in open environments with security concerns. As the level of attention to the security of processor hardware is ever-increasing, Andes is committed to invest heavily on robustness of security features of all its processor products. 

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