Intel to use GPUs for malware scanning, reduce performance hit

JC Torres - Apr 17, 2018
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Intel to use GPUs for malware scanning, reduce performance hit

The Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities have definitely shaken the computing industry in general but the hardest hit has been Intel. Short of overhauling its chip design, all that the processor maker could do was to roll out patches to detect and stop potential in-memory malware. The price for that, however, is increased load for the CPU. Now Intel is proposing to offload that burden to a powerful yet often underutilized component of many Intel machines: its integrated graphics chip.

The GPU has always been the recipient of the CPUs burdens. It was created so that the CPU could offload graphics-related processes to it, freeing up the CPU for other tasks. Recently, the GPU has also been turned into a general-purpose processor thanks to its ability to process multiple data simultaneously better than a CPU.

Intel’s new Accelerated Memory Scanning would soon also offload malware detection to the GPU. The current Meltdown and Spectre fixes have seen a dramatic 20% increase in CPU usage. By offloading the job to the GPU, which often sits idle, that performance hit was reportedly reduced to 2%.

As part of Intel’s new Thread Detection Technology, Accelerated Memory Scanning will be available for 6th, 7th, and 8th gen Intel processors. However, it is up to third-party antivirus vendors to actually utilize that feature. Microsoft is the first to jump into the fray, with the Intel TDT coming to Windows Defender Advanced Protection Threat (ATP) this month.

VIA: The Verge


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