Slashdot adds a little FUD to your morning with this report (and tool) from ElcomSoft about the efficiency of utilizing an AMD GPU to crack iPhone and iPod passwords.  It would seem that not only is a Radeon HD5970 twenty times faster than a Core i7 960 it is almost twice as fast as a Telsa S1070.  Putting aside the security issue for a moment to focus on parallel processing power, it seems a bit embarrassing for nVIDIA to have their supercomputing, massively parallel “teraflop many-core processor” be beaten by a re-purposed graphics card that costs a fraction of the price.  We have yet to see Fermi numbers and it is possible that what seems too hot for a GPU might function fine in the settings a Tesla is used, so don’t count nVIDIA out.

By the way, the number they hit with the HD5970 was 103,000 password attempts per second.

“ElcomSoft accelerates the recovery of Wi-Fi passwords and password-protected iPhone and iPod backups by using ATI video cards. The support of ATI Radeon 5000 series video accelerators allows ElcomSoft to perform password recovery up to 20 times faster compared to Intel top of the line quad-core CPUs, and up to two times faster compared to enterprise-level NVIDIA Tesla solutions. Benchmarks performed by ElcomSoft demonstrate that ATI Radeon HD5970 accelerated password recovery works up to 20 times faster than Core i7-960, Intel’s current top of the line CPU unit.”

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