Dell Inc. will bundle security software from Wave Systems Inc. on future business PCs equipped with the Trusted Platform Module, a secure computing chip, according to information provided to federal regulators by Wave Systems.
Wave signed a deal with Dell to ship the Wave Embassy Trust Suite software on new business PCs on Nov. 14, according to an SEC filing by Wave on Monday.
The software allows companies to integrate user authentication, data encryption and file-based protection on systems that have the TPM chip.
Dell does not comment on news about future products, said Anne Camden, a Dell spokeswoman.
The TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is a silicon-based microcontroller that was developed by the TCG (Trusted Computing Group). TPMs are manufactured by a number of vendors and installed on the motherboard of PCs and stores secure data like encryption keys, passwords and digital certificates.
The TPM is considered more resistant to external attacks than software-based encryption products.
Dell already bundles Waves Embassy Security Center, on its Optiplex line of corporate desktops and Precision line of workstations. Dell also offers the Embassy Suite as a peripheral item that customers can choose to have installed on their Dell system through the Dell Web site, she said.
Bundling software like the Embassy Suite ensures compatibility with the platform. Dell bases its decisions about which software to bundle with its hardware on customer feedback, she said.
Under the new agreement with Dell, Wave will receive a royalty for each unit that ships with the Embassy technology, according to the SEC filing.
Dell has partnered with Wave, making the TPM chip as a standard component of Dell systems in March, 2005. Customers use the software to manage and extend the functionality of their TPM chips, Camden said.
Wave also has agreements with other companies. Chip giant Intel Corp. bundles the Embassy Trust Suite with its motherboards and IBM Corp. ships Waves technology with its computers.
Papa Ginos Holdings Corp., a Dedham, Massachusetts chain of Italian restaurants, use Waves Embassy Trust Suite on Dell OptiPlex desktop and Latitude notebooks to encrypt data on the computer hard drive, backup tapes and in transit, said Chris Cahalin, network manager at the company.
Stories about data exposed by lost or stolen desktop computers puts a premium on software that can protect customers from data theft, Camden said.
"Wave and Dell with the TPM actually offer a good solution to help counteract that kind of situation," she said.