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Beginner
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questions about vPro basis

I'm reading about interesting features which vPro provides for us and I have some questions about vPro hardware parts as intel ME that exists in older versions of CPUs too.

 

1- vPro modules saved in a memory called "SPI flash" wich connects to PCH via serial peripheral interface(SPI), this memory is shared between the BIOS, ME and NIC, but where is it? is it integrated in CPU chipset or it resides out of the CPU chipset and just connected via SPI?

 

2- there's a cryptographic chip in ME for it's purposes, may I access this chip and use this chip to accelerate my cryptographic operations in my own application? if I can how?

 

3- I don't have vPro in my laptop yet but I have ME. how can I find my ME version and how can I determine which modules are working there right now? I can't find any settings related to ME in my BIOS, but I have the driver /dev/mei0

 

thank for your time

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

Thank you for joining the community

 

Your questions are more related to specific hardware architecture of a certain OEM more than AMT itself. Our support handles AMT/SCS software and/or installation related issues. I think that your questions might be better answered by the actual manufacturer of your laptop

 

Regards

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

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Beginner
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thanks for your response

may be my first question is more related to manufacturer but the two following questions is related to intel.

if in this section you just support the software and installation issues where can I ask my questions? isn't there anyone to answer me?

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

It is kind of difficult to tell since what you ask are design features and every manufacturer has their own design based on Intel specifications. I will double check with our engineering department and will let you know as soon as I have an update.

 

Regards

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

This is what we got from engineering:

 

1. The Management Engine code is loaded from the SPI flash into DRAM and cached in a secure and isolated SRAM.

 

2. Unfortunately, no, that’s not possible. (about cryptographic chip)

 

3. The Intel Management and Security Status (IMSS) software will display the ME FW version under the Advanced tab > Extended System Details.

 

These are a couple of great links to some more detailed information about vPro and the Management Engine.

 

Intel Series 9 PCH Datasheet<https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/docs/chipsets/9-series-chipset-pch-datasheet.html>

Active Platform Management Demystified<https://www.meshcommander.com/active-management>

 

Hope it helps. In case you have further questions just let us know

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

I am just following up to double check if found the provided information useful. In case you have further questions please let us know. If you consider the issue to be completed please let us know so we can proceed to mark this thread as resolved.

 

Regards

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

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Beginner
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hello Jose A.

thanks a lot for your response and time, but I didn't get my answers properly.

1- I asked "where" is the spi flash!

2- I read this part from the book "platform embedded security technology revealed" which intel recommended for reading:

"The cryptography engine is only accessible by the engine’s firmware. They are not directly available to the host, although some embedded applications implement and expose external interfaces for the host applications to take advantage of the cryptography engine."

you said no, if no what's the meaning of this?

3- this one answered, thanks!

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

1-The exact location of the SPI flash is design information and most likely it will require a Non-Disclosure-Agreement from you in order to get such information. Would you like to apply for an NDA?

 

2-It is not possible to use the cryptographic chip for other purposes than the ME tasks. Even though since you got this information from the book I will check with engineering again. The author seems to be a Intel or former Intel employee.

 

Regards

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

Engineering did not provide any further information about the ME cryptographic chip usage. They just refer to your system OEM in order to download and install the Intel Management and Security Status (IMSS) software. Once installed, you can launch it to get details on what your ME version is. Besides that, the following page might also assist with some other queries:

https://software.intel.com/sites/manageability/AMT_Implementation_and_Reference_Guide/WordDocuments/...

 

Hope this helps.

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

I am just following up to double check if you found the provided information useful. If you consider the issue to be completed please let us know so we can proceed to mark this thread as resolved.

This thread will be marked as resolved automatically in the next 72 hours if no activity is received.

 

Regards

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

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Moderator
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Hello frahm6,

 

We will proceed to mark this thread as resolved. If you have further issues or questions just go ahead and create a new topic.

 

Jose A.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

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