back to article PayPal adopts ARM servers, gets mightily dense

Those hoping ARM-powered servers can give Intel and AMD some stiff competition in the data centre have some good news today, after Applied Micro revealed that PayPal “has deployed and validated” the company's ARM-architected X-Gene server-on-a-chip. Applied Micro CEO and president Paramesh Gopi said, during the company's Q4 …

  1. -tim

    Harder remote exploit vector?

    The ARM is much harder to play games with when trying remote exploits as it tends to take many more complex steps than x386 code to acchieve the same hacker goals but they are steps that can be done.

    I'll be happy with ARM CPUs for my server loads but I have concerns about how its many instruction sets can be used together to do return based programming when hacked. It would be much happier if I could mark a page a "instruction set type X only" to help prevent any random bit of data being used for remote exploits or even disable some of them on boot so they can never happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Harder remote exploit vector?

      If the application is running in 64-bit ARM mode, which I assume most server apps will be, there is only one instruction set.

      You should be marking your data pages and stack as non-executable anyway [IIRC x86 generally can't do this because of how the bounce veneers for exceptions work, which generally means that the stack is marked as executable, but I could be wrong - it's been a while since I had to worry about that].

  2. Phil Endecott

    The "10,000 CPUs shipped" number is very impressive. Where are they all? Not on the $1,500 or $2,500 dev boards that I can buy, surely! Someone - PayPal or someone else - is doing some seriously large scale deployments. Good!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AMD likely to prevail

    With AMD's IP and entrance into ARM CPUs, I expect they will eventually own the largest share of the ARM market. It's a win-win for all involved IMO.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: AMD likely to prevail

      Maybe, but who knows. AMD don't have their own fabs anymore, so they have to queue up like any other designer. So they'd have to resort to cleverness to beat the rest of the ARM outfits, and there's a lot of clever people out there these days.

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