Trust Your PC

March 4, 2004
At the RSA Conference last month, Atmel Corporation announced that it had shipped over five million Trusted Platform Module (TPM) ICs in the world’s most popular notebook computers, whichever those are. I use two notebooks, my own and the one

At the RSA Conference last month, Atmel Corporation announced that it had shipped over five million Trusted Platform Module (TPM) ICs in the world’s most popular notebook computers, whichever those are. I use two notebooks, my own and the one the company provides, and don’t really know if either has the Atmel chip. But I’m going to check. TPM ICs are single-chip security sub-systems that protect your privacy by providing tamper-proof storage and management of your identity, passwords, and encryption keys. As you probably know, computers without TPMs store passwords, digital certificates, and encryption keys on the system hard drive, which is relatively vulnerable to unauthorized access. When installed in personal computers, TPMs can help to prevent identity theft crimes, such as email-born viruses and the scams perpetrated on Best Buy and PayPal customers last summer. Kerry Maletsky, Business Unit Director at Atmel, says that TPM-enabled computers are selling like hotcakes. He also says that there is no other means of protection as secure as TPMs. In addition to PCs, the Atmel TPM is also finding its way into embedded applications such as PDAs, cell phones, POS terminals, set top boxes, and sensitive eCommerce applications. For good reason, it seems. TPM security is based on an industry standard developed by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG). You can read more about them at www.trustedcomputinggroup.org. For more information on the Atmel chip go to www.atmel.com/ products/Embedded/. E-mail your comments to me at [email protected]

Company: EE Product News

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