Intel selects Verisign for mobile security

Chip embeds

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

VeriSign Inc has secured itself a place at the heart of Intel Corp's mobile strategy with a deal to embed its technology in the chip giant's next generation notebook processor.

Under the deal, announced at the chip vendor's developer forum in San Jose yesterday, VeriSign will optimize its digital certificates and Personal Trust Agent Technology for Intel's Banias notebook processor, which is due to launch next year.

VeriSign's digital certificate technology will be available in Trusted Platform Modules, meaning that, in effect, OEMs will be able to embed VeriSign's technology into notebooks built around the Banias technology.

John Weinschenk, vice president of business development for VeriSign, said the deal meant security could be built into hardware at the most fundamental level: "You can't get any stronger than that."

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group, said the deal was not exclusive and the chip giant would not be mandating that OEMs use VeriSign's security technology. However, he added, "we certainly recommend our OEMs take a hard look at it."

He said the deal was "one stop on the way" towards securing notebook systems. Intel would also validate TPM solutions from other vendors for use with Banias, said Chandrasekher.

The deal also draws parallels with the LaGrande embedded security technology Intel is developing. Intel president and COO Paul Otellini alluded to LaGrande vaguely on Monday, but the technology is not expected to hit the market for at least another couple of years. Chandrasekher said LaGrande was "completely consistent and backwards compatible with what we're doing here."

A VeriSign spokesperson said yesterday's deal with Intel was the second of its kind. Earlier this year it struck a deal with Phoenix Technologies to embed security technology into the PC Bios. He said it was fair to assume the company was looking to cut similar deals with a variety of silicon vendors.

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