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[Solved] SGX support in recent laptops

Hi, guys,

I'm looking into purchasing an SGX enabled laptop. Candidates are ThinkPad X1 Carbon and VAIO S. They all come with a SkyLake processor but I'm not sure if any vendor-supplied driver is needed to drive SGX. Since SGX is an ISA extension, my guess would be no driver is needed but some BIOS support to enable SGX.

Can you guys who own an SGX-enabled laptop provide some insight? Thanks!

Update: I've verified that the latest ThinkPad laptops have SGX enable.

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All intel skylake processor are supported SGX. Both firmware(BIOS) and driver required to drive SGX. 

Refer the link to verify list of CPU's supported SGX : http://ark.intel.com/

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Actually there is a list of capable hardware maintained at https://github.com/ayeks/SGX-hardware, you can refer to it.

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quizy j. wrote:

Actually there is a list of capable hardware maintained at https://github.com/ayeks/SGX-hardware, you can refer to it.

Thanks. I'm aware of that list. I'm asking because those mentioned laptops are pretty recent.

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All 6th generation Intel processors support SGX. Before you purchase kindly refer to Intel ARK website for the list of processors that supports SGX and also make sure to check with OEM to provide drivers and firmware to support SGX.

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Kuppusamy R. (Intel) wrote:

All 6th generation Intel processors support SGX. Before you purchase kindly refer to Intel ARK website for the list of processors that supports SGX and also make sure to check with OEM to provide drivers and firmware to support SGX.

Thanks for your answer. Well, I'd have to say, as a customer, it's nearly impossible to check with OEM for this level of details. I talked extensively with some sales rep and they apparently have no idea.

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I cannot recommend you a specific models and manufacturers of laptops. Some product lines maintain the same name from year to year, and it’s just the CPU model that changes, while other products let you customize the CPU options so you could start with something that is SGX-compatible and customize it with a CPU that isn’t.
 
The best advice I can give: don’t buy a system unless you can review its technical specs and see either:
 
1.       A 6000-series model number (i3-6xxx, i5-6xxx, or i7-6xxx), or
2.       The phrase “Intel® 6th generation CoreTM processor”
 
Asking sales reps about specific CPU features is probably not a good idea, but getting a model number or at least a CPU generation is reasonable, and is good enough. Once again make sure the above two point before purchasing.
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Kuppusamy R. (Intel) wrote:

I cannot recommend you a specific models and manufacturers of laptops. Some product lines maintain the same name from year to year, and it’s just the CPU model that changes, while other products let you customize the CPU options so you could start with something that is SGX-compatible and customize it with a CPU that isn’t.

 

The best advice I can give: don’t buy a system unless you can review its technical specs and see either:

 

1.       A 6000-series model number (i3-6xxx, i5-6xxx, or i7-6xxx), or

2.       The phrase “Intel® 6th generation CoreTM processor”

 

Asking sales reps about specific CPU features is probably not a good idea, but getting a model number or at least a CPU generation is reasonable, and is good enough. Once again make sure the above two point before purchasing.

Yeah, that's basically what I can do for now. Do you foresee those major manufacturers (e.g. Lenovo) will eventually provide driver and firmware support for SGX? I guess if SGX were to be used more widely, they would have enough incentive to invest in developing drivers and firmware. But who knows? At least at the moment there is no official support from Lenovo.

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