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Palmisano's IBM Fuses Security Into Processors

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We may bolster our computers with ever more anti-spyware armor, but device makers are in a similar boat when it comes to evading prying eyes. According to IBM, there is as yet no technology that has armored central processors, the brain of a computer or device, with encryption technology. Until now, that is.

The blue brains led IBM Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano say they have come up with a new type of technology that injects the technology that encrypts data into the heart of a machine's circuitry. The new SecureBlue "architecture" has already been procured by one device maker--who wishes, incidentally, to remain anonymous.

IBM envisions the new technology being used in devices such as game consoles made by Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony as well as for medical, financial and defense systems.

SecureBlue is being deployed in two ways. On the one hand it can be infused into a device as it's built, or added into an already existing processor. "We're working with clients to embed the architecture," said IBM's spokesman Charles Zinkowski. "It takes up 2% to 3% of the chip without reorganizing the entire infrastructure."

IBM is not the first to try and integrate encryption into a computer's central processing functions. Intel's upcoming LaGrande technology does the same fundamental armoring, though unlike IBM it still requires interaction with a separate chip.

IBM says it is in talks with various industries including content owners about using the technology to prevent copyrighted material from being freely disseminated. "The applications are endless because of the different opportunities and industries that this technology could appeal to," said Zinkowski.

IBM believes the SecureBlue technology could be a "good housekeeping seal of approval" for any given device which a consumer is looking to purchase. The company did not wish to comment on the impact such technology could have on the anti-spyware industry. More...

Palmisano's IBM Fuses Security Into Processors - Monday, April 10, 2006 -

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