AMD processors without AMD PSP / Secure Technology

Tags: amd, cpu, apu, psp, secure technology, trusted environment, secure execution environment
Last update: Nov 2020

If we want to find the latest CPU which is not equipped with any secure execution environment, we need to look into the official and other documentations, which are available publicly. From news in the media we assume the secure execution environment to be integrated somewhere around 2013.

Available documents are:

What are we actually looking for? Well, we try to find a gap among the official documents: We watch out for the crucial starting point, when the documentation is mentioning the PSP for the first time. From this point we’ll find out which CPU’s are the first being affected by the PSP subsystem. And secondly we’ll search for the previous CPU generation, which we assume not to be affected.

Step 1: Checking the AGESA documentation (source 1). On AMD systems with BIOS/UEFI the AMD AGESA code is responsible for releasing the CPU from halt state during boot initialisation, allowing it to start up and work properly. This is a binary proprietary firmware blob, which is needed for the machine to work. The AGESA documentation states that the macro called “AMD_RESET_ENABLEMENT” initialise fundamental controls which have to be placed as early as possible in the boot sequence. This marco initialises DRAM through PSP. This is out first occurrence of the word PSP. On page 158 is written that “Family 16h and Family 15h-Models 60h and later contain a PSP but it does not perform the memory initialisation”.
Conclusion: This tells us that Familiy 15h Models 60h and later + Family 16h contain a PSP. Looks like we need to check on previous families!

Step 2: Verifying the AGESA conclusion from step 1. Let’s have a look into the BKDG for those prior mentioned Family 15h Models 60h and later (source 2). In fact we find on page 158 a „device 8“ named „PSP“. So we can confirm the AGESA documentation.
Conclusion: Since both documents match we are quite sure that PSP is implemented. 

Step 3: Checking if PSP elements are also mentioned in the Family 15h before 60h. First we need to find out what „Family 15h“ actually means. A quick research on Wikipedia reveals that AMD’s Family 15h consists of those architectures which carry the following names:

  • Bulldozer (CPUIDs 00h-01h)
  • Piledriver (CPUIDs 02h + 10h-1Fh)
  • Steamroller (CPUIDs 30h-3Fh)
  • Excavator (CPUIDs 60h-6Fh + 70h-7Fh)

Conclusion: The Family 15h before 60h is the Steamroller architecture with the CPUIDs numbered 30h-3Fh.

Step 4: Checking the documentation for Steamroller for anything PSP-like. The corresponding BKDG (source 3) doesn’t mention anything PSP related. It’s also not mentioned within the root complex topology on page 148. But unfortunately this is not true for the Product Data Sheet (source 4). AMD states on page 6: „Platform Security Processor“. Bummer! Which documentation should we trust now? The BKDB is from Feb 2015 and the Data Sheet is from Jan 2014. So it looks like the PSP has been planned in Jan 2014 but didn’t make it in time into the CPU – as stated in the „final“ BKDB handbook for developers.
Conclusion: There is a high chance no PSP is implemented in 30h-3Fh.

Step 5: Which specific CPUs are meant? If we check the Revision Guide for Family 15h Models 30h (source 5) we see on page 9 that the following products with the stepping KV-A1 are meant:

  • AMD Elite Performance A-Series APU with Radeon Graphics
  • AMD R-Series Mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) with AMD Radeon HD Graphics
  • AMD Opteron X1200 Series Processor
  • AMD Opteron X2200 Series APU Processor

The Steamroller-Family incorporates the CPUs code-named by Kaveri. You could also use the Piledriver architecture with its code-names Trinity and Richland since they are prior to Steamroller.

Wikipedia shows us nice lists of usable CPUs/APUs. I have sorted them by performance. The later, the better.

Steamroller/Kaveri (Desktop APUs)
Athlon X2 450 (2x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
Athlon X4 840 (4x 3,1 Ghz, 65W)
Athlon X4 860K (4x 3,7 Ghz, 95W)
Athlon X4 870K (4x 3,9 Ghz, 95W)
Athlon X4 880K (4x 4,0 Ghz, 95W)
FX-770K (4x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A4 PRO-7350B (2x 3,4 Ghz, 65W)
PRO A4-8350B (2x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A6-7400K (2x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A6 PRO-7400B (2x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A6-7470K (2x 3,7 Ghz, 65W)
PRO A6-8550B (2x 3,7 Ghz, 65W)
A8-7500 (4x 3,0 Ghz, 65W)
A8-7600 (4x 3,1 Ghz, 65W)
A8 PRO-7600B (4x 3,1 Ghz, 65W)
A8-7650K (4x 3,3 Ghz, 95W)
A8-7670K (4x 3,6 Ghz, 95W)
PRO A8-8650B (4x 3,2 Ghz, 65W)
A10-7700K (4x 3,4 Ghz, 95W)
A10-7800 (4x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A10 PRO-7800B (4x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A10-7850K (4x 3,7 Ghz, 95W)
A10 PRO-7850B (4x 3,7 Ghz, 95W)
A10-7860K (4x 3,6 Ghz, 65W)
A10-7870K (4x 3,9 Ghz, 95W)
A10-7890K (4x 4,1 Ghz, 95W)
PRO A10-8750B (4x 3,6 Ghz, 65W)
PRO A10-8850B (4x 3,9 Ghz, 95W)

Piledriver/Richland+Trinity (Desktop APUs)
A4-4000 (2x 3,0 Ghz, 65W)
A4-5300 (2x 3,4 Ghz, 65W)
A6-5400K (2x 3,6 Ghz, 65W)
A6-6400K (2x 3,9 Ghz, 65W)
A8-5500 (4x 3,2 Ghz, 65W)
A8-5600K (4x 3,6 Ghz, 100W)
A8-6500T (4x 2,1 Ghz, 45W)
A8-6500 (4x 3,5 Ghz, 65W)
A8-6600K (4x 3,9 Ghz, 100W)
A10-5700 (4x 3,4 Ghz, 65W)
A10-5800K (4x 3,8 Ghz, 100W)
A10-6700 (4x 3,7 Ghz, 65W)
A10-6800K (4x 4,1 Ghz, 100W)

Piledriver/Richland+Trinity (Desktop CPUs)
FX-4300 (2x 3,8 Ghz, 95W)
FX-4320 (2x 4,0 Ghz, 95W)
FX-4350 (2x 4,2 Ghz, 125W)
FX-6300 (3x 3,5 Ghz, 95W)
FX-6350 (3x 3,6 Ghz, 95W)
FX-8300 (4x 3,3 Ghz, 95W)
FX-8310 (4x 3,4 Ghz, 95W)
FX-8320E (4x 3,2 Ghz, 95W)
FX-8320 (4x 3,5 Ghz, 125W)
FX-8350 (4x 4,0 Ghz, 125W)
FX-8370E (4x 3,3 Ghz, 95W)
FX-8370 (4x 4,4 Ghz, 125W)
FX-9370 (4x 4,4 Ghz, 220W)
FX-9590 (4x 4,7 Ghz, 220W)

Piledriver based Opterons (Server)
Delhi 32nm
Opteron 3320 EE (4x 1,9 Ghz, 25W)
Opteron 2250 HE (4x 2,8 Ghz, 45W)
Opteron 3365 (8x 2,3 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 3380 (8x 2,6 Ghz, 65W)

Seoul 32nm
Opteron 43CX EE (4x 2,2 Ghz, 35W)
Opteron 4310 EE (4x 3,0 Ghz, 35W)
Opteron 4334 (6x 3,1 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4340 (6x 3,5 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4332 HE (6x 3,0 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4386 (8x 3,1 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4365 EE (8x 2,0 Ghz, 40W)
Opteron 43GK HE (8x 2,6 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4376 HE (8x 2,6 Ghz, 65W)

Abu Dhabi 32nm
Opteron 6308 (4x 3,5 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6320 (8x 2,8 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6328 (8x 3,2 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6338P (12x 2,3 Ghz, 99W)
Opteron 6344 (12x 2,6 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6348 (12x 2,8 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6370P (16x 2,0 Ghz, 99W)
Opteron 6376 (16x 2,3 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6378 (16x 2,4 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6380 (16x 2,5 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6386 SE (16x 2,8 Ghz, 140W)
Opteron 6366 HE (16x 1,8 Ghz, 85W)

Bulldozer based Opterons (Server)
Zurich 32nm
Opteron 3250 HE (4x 2,5 Ghz, 45W)
Opteron 3260 HE (4x 2,7 Ghz, 45W)
Opteron 3280 (8x 2,4 Ghz, 65W)

Valencia 32nm
Opteron 42DX EE (4x 2,2 Ghz, 40W)
Opteron 4226 (6x 2,7 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4234 (6x 3,1 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4238 (6x 3,3 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4240 (6x 3,4 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4228 HE (6x 2,8 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4230 HE (6x 2,9 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4280 (8x 2,8 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 4284 (8x 3,0 Ghz, 95W)
Opteron 42MX HE (8x 2,2 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4274 HE (8x 2,5 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4276 HE (8x 2,6 Ghz, 65W)
Opteron 4256 EE (8x 1,6 Ghz, 35W)

Interlagos 32nm
Opteron 6204 (4x 3,3 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6212 (8x 2,6 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6220 (8x 3,0 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6234 (12x 2,4 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6238 (12x 2,6 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6230 HE (12x 2,2 Ghz, 85W)
Opteron 6272 (16x 2,1 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6274 (16x 2,2 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6275 (16x 2,2 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6276 (16x 2,3 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6278 (16x 2,4 Ghz, 115W)
Opteron 6282 SE (16x 2,6 Ghz, 140W)
Opteron 6284 SE (16x 2,7 Ghz, 140W)
Opteron 6287 SE (16x 2,8 Ghz, 140W)
Opteron 6291 SE (16x 3,0 Ghz, 140W)
Opteron 6262 HE (16x 1,6 Ghz, 85W)

According to this you can also check the huge table of AMD processors on Wikipedia.

Conclusion: You can choose any CPU/APU of the leftmost list to get the „latest“/last CPU without a PSP builtin.

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