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Intel Rocket Lake & Alder Lake CPUs are incapable of playing Blu-ray discs due to security vulnerabilities

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Heise.de has reported that users of Intel's 11 and 12th generation core processors cannot play UHD Blu-ray discs due to the halt of support located in the SGX instruction set. The reasoning for Intel to stop allowing for the playback of the Blu-ray technology on those two generations is that the system believes that there is a security vulnerability at hand, causing the disc to be unable to be read.

Blu-ray discs are incapable of being watched on Intel Rocket Lake & Alder Lake-based systems due to high-security risks found by individual plans.

The playback of UHD Blu-ray discs utilizes hugely high requirements. First, the disc searches to find if it meets the compatibility requirements given by the system processor. Then, the disc must ensure that several digital rights management technologies are in place, such as advanced access content system (AACS 2.0 ) copy protection, high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP 2.2), and Intel's SGX technology.

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Breaking down the three technology protections in further detail,

  • Advanced Access Content System, or AACS, is a form of copy protection for Blu-ray discs issued by the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administration (AACS LA). AACS allows access for Blu-Ray players with a specific set of encryption keys. If any of those keys become compromised, AACS can be revised. Currently, AACS is on version 2.2.
  • High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, or HDCP, is the standard for copy and content protection set by the television and film industry. HDCP is on HDMI connections for devices, such as Blu-ray players, digital cable boxes, and numerous streaming devices.
  • Intel SGX is the company's in-house hardware-based encryption, allowing users to protect their sensitive data by positioning it into a highly secured territory within the system's memory. The process encrypts memory areas using security instructions that are indictive to the CPU. The Blu-Ray Association currently requires all processors to support Intel SGX technology.

Intel offers SGX support for the company's sixth-generation core processors up to the tenth-generation core chips. However, both 11th Gen Core Rocket Lake and the current 12th Gen Core Alder Lake processors have never offered support for SGX, which is causing many UHD Blu-ray users to be unable to play their discs on their newer systems.

Intel has never addressed why they halted support for the SGX technology in the last to processor families. It is possible that due to security vulnerabilities found when accessing the information on ultra high definition Blu-ray discs, the system was finding more false attributes, causing high levels of incompatibility. Instead of altering the SGX encryption technology, Intel has deleted it on their last two generations of processors. This step has caused computer users to be unable to play Blu-ray discs on their systems and either pay for a standard Blu-ray player or opt into streaming movies and television shows online.

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