Intel 12th-Gen Chips Can’t Play 4K Blu-Ray Disks

Generic image of a CPU

Intel 12th gen chips don’t support Software Guard Extension (SGX). This means PCs with these chips can’t play Blu-ray disks in 4K resolution (via Bleeping Computer).

Intel 12th Gen Chip Support

Blu-ray disks require some form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in order to function. Intel’s SGX feature is one such DRM detection system. From Intel’s webpage:

There is tremendous opportunity for application and solution developers to take charge of their data security using new hardware-based controls for cloud and enterprise environments. Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX)1 2 offers hardware-based memory encryption that isolates specific application code and data in memory. Intel SGX allows user-level code to allocate private regions of memory, called enclaves, which are designed to be protected from processes running at higher privilege levels. Only Intel SGX offers such a granular level of control and protection.

But in Intel’s latest specs for its 11th-gen and 12-gen chips, Intel SGX is listed as one of many deprecated technologies. But why?

As it turns out, SGX is a prime attack vector for many security attacks, such as:

  • Prime+Probe attack discovered in 2017
  • Spectre-like attack disclosed in 2018
  • Enclave attack discovered by researchers in 2019
  • MicroScope replay attack
  • Plundervolt injection attack
  • Load Value Injection (LVI)
  • SGAxe attack on the CPU cache resulting in the leak of the enclave’s content

Intel 12th-gen chips may not support SGX but some chips from the company still do. These include those from the 7000, 8000, 9000, or 10000-series chips. Intel’ 12th-gen chips are the Alder Lake H-Series chips that were announced in 2021.

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