Intel tries to wangle China crypto-standards deal
TCM + TPM = TXT
Intel has revealed it’s working behind the scenes to strike a deal with Chinese regulators that will effectively make the country’s closed crypto standard Trusted Cryptography Module (TCM) interoperable with the rest of the world.
TCM was invented in the People’s Republic as a home-grown rival to the Trusted Computing Group’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM) – a hardware authentication standard related to chips of the same name which store cryptographic keys to uniquely authenticate host devices.
Jason Fedder, Intel’s GM of data centre products in Asia Pacific, told El Reg at a Chipzilla Cloud Summit on Tuesday that the firm is trying to thrash out interoperability between TCM and TPM with government, academia and other related parties in the People’s Republic.
The closed standard hasn’t been popular among Chinese banks because of its non-interoperability with TPM, but the integration roadmap between the competing standards is lengthening – because Intel has to get the Trusted Computing Group on board and account for the next version of TPM which is coming out soon, he added.
Of course, there’s something in it for the chip giant – its Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) relies on TPM so it needs to thrash out interoperability in order to sell it in the People’s Republic.
The US ITC has already slammed China for going it alone with “indigenous innovation” and complicating global supply chains.
The Chinese TCM requires that cryptographic algorithms and protocols used to perform specific security tasks, such as verifying that only authorized codes run on a system, be based on Chinese technology. US industry representatives have raised concerns that Chinese development of TCM is motivated by the desire to reduce royalties for patents embedded in TCG technology standards and that it will negatively affect interoperability and globally integrated supply chains.
Shoe ... other foot
"US industry representatives have raised concerns that Chinese development of TCM is motivated by the desire to reduce royalties for patents embedded in TCG technology standards ..."
Of course it is. Why should China pay for western tech licenses when they can develop their own standard for a massive internal market? (Just like the china-specific mobile phone standard widely used there.)
"... and that it will negatively affect interoperability and globally integrated supply chains."
No problem; everybody else can use the chinese standard and buy a license from them. Oh, ... wait a minute.
They do enjoy whinging, innit ?
First they complain that the Chinese don't innovate and instead steal their so-called «intellectual property» (typical example : rounded corners on a flat slab) ; then they complain that the Chinese have created a new standard for domestic use, which reduces their ability to charge the Chinese excessive prices for «licenses». One does, indeed, sympathise with these companies, whose executives are so poorly compensated that they must, no doubt, spend half their time in breadlines....
TCM and US Embargoed Countries list
Could TCM be used to track users activities and I thought China was on the US Embargoed Countries list?