Graviton: Trusted Execution Environments on GPUs


Stavros Volos and Kapil Vaswani, Microsoft Research; Rodrigo Bruno, INESC-ID / IST, University of Lisbon


We propose Graviton, an architecture for supporting trusted execution environments on GPUs. Graviton enables applications to offload security- and performance-sensitive kernels and data to a GPU, and execute kernels in isolation from other code running on the GPU and all software on the host, including the device driver, the operating system, and the hypervisor. Graviton can be integrated into existing GPUs with relatively low hardware complexity; all changes are restricted to peripheral components, such as the GPU’s command processor, with no changes to existing CPUs, GPU cores, or the GPU’s MMU and memory controller. We also propose extensions to the CUDA runtime for securely copying data and executing kernels on the GPU. We have implemented Graviton on off-the-shelf NVIDIA GPUs, using emulation for new hardware features. Our evaluation shows that overheads are low(17-33%)with encryption and decryption of traffic to and from the GPU being the main source of overheads.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {222569,
author = {Stavros Volos and Kapil Vaswani and Rodrigo Bruno},
title = {Graviton: Trusted Execution Environments on {GPUs}},
booktitle = {13th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 18)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-939133-08-3},
address = {Carlsbad, CA},
pages = {681--696},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Audio