Transmeta builds crypto into Crusoe

DRM Inside

Transmeta yesterday said it has begun sampling versions of its Crusoe TM5800 processor embedded with proprietary security technologies.

The chip designer claims its approach offers increased security for wireless computing, protects sensitive data, "deters intellectual property theft" (read Digital Rights Management (DRM) Inside) and delivers tamper-resistant, x86 storage environments. Putting security onto the main processor increases security over existing multi-chip solutions, it argues.

Initially, the TM580 will feature technologies including "secure hidden storage of confidential information" (initially tamper-resistant storage of crypto keys) and crypto acceleration.

Transmeta's hardware support for DES, DES-X and Triple-DES is designed to accelerate security applications such as file and disk data encryption and the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) algorithm commonly used in VPNs. The company reckons its processor architecture will make an extension of this to support the recently approved Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) straightforward.

Intel and AMD plan to introduce security functions directly into their microprocessors, but Transmeta argues its ahead in building these technologies into chips thanks to its combined software and hardware approach to microprocessor design.

Transmeta plans to make its security-enhanced TM5800 microprocessors availabile to OEMS in the second half of this year. ®

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