AMD partners with ARM to boost PC security with TrustZone

AMD partners with ARM to boost PC security with TrustZone
Micro-processor maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is partnering with the UK-based chip maker ARM to build a platform security processor using the latter's Cortex-A5 TrustZone technology.

"The future chip would work towards aligning both AMD x86- and ARM-based hardware with an industry standard security solution that spans multiple processor architectures and helps accelerate broader ecosystem support," AMD said in a release.

The two companies said they plan to incorporate ARM's TrustZone security technology into AMD microprocessors starting next year.

TrustZone, which is ARM's established security system, is the dominant security technology for smartphones and tablets.

"With AMD's support for, and inclusion in, the expanding TrustZone ecosystem, consumers and businesses can rest assured their data and content are secured by an industry-standard security solution that spans a multitude of devices and operating systems," AMD senior VP Mike Wolfe said.

The move comes as the largest chip maker Intel has been hustling to build more security features into its own processors, following its 2010 acquisition of security company McAfee for USD 7.6 billion.

Intel had said that it intended to incorporate McAfee's security technology into its computer processor chips. Analysts see AMD's move as a counter to Intel's heavy investment in extending security technology into its processors.

ARM is the dominant source of low-power processor chips that control smartphones. It licenses its basic low-power designs to other companies, including Samsung Electronics, that make the chips.

The alliance with AMD would give ARM's technology a presence in personal computers and eventually servers, the workhorse computers that run Internet data centers. Select AMD APUs will feature TrustZone security features in 2013 and the chip maker said it would expand the technology further across its product portfolio in 2014.


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