Posted May 11, 2006 6:40 UTC (Thu) by ncm
In reply to: On the safety of Linux random numbers
Parent article: On the safety of Linux random numbers
As I understand it, Intel included an interface for getting efficient access to truly random numbers in their chipsets starting at i810 or so. In the early versions, this was a separate, optional chip wired to a dedicated pin. Of course few motherboard manufacturers left pads for it, and even fewer built boards with the chip present. The presence or absence of a random-number generator chip is not high on the list of motherboard features that early adopters (i.e. gamers) look for. Intel marketing must have interpreted this as an entire lack of interest among users, and so omitted the (very cheap!) feature as they integrated the various outboard chips.
So, it appears we can blame Intel marketing for sabotaging this solemnly promised feature of all future Intel chipsets. As promised, all are equipped to report whether they can produce random numbers; they all say "no".
(This is the best reconstruction of events I have been able to establish through Google searches. Someone else may have better information not readily googled. I welcome corrections.)
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