Transmeta to Embed Security Features Onto Chips

Embedding wireless security technology onto Crusoe will enable users to store sensitive information right on the chip.

Transmeta Corp. announced today that it is embedding wireless security technology onto its Crusoe TM5800 processor that will among other things enable users to store sensitive information right on the chip.

The features also include a hardware acceleration engine for such encryption algorithms as Data Encryption Standard, or DES, DES-X and Triple DES, and a flexible architecture that will be able to adapt to future industry standards, such as Advanced Encryption Standard, according to the Santa Clara, Calif., company.

Transmeta officials expect to ship chips with the new security features in the second half of the year. Transmetas low-power, energy-efficient chips are used in such devices as notebooks and tablet PCs—including Hewlett-Packard Co.s Compaq Tablet PC TC1000—and in RLX Technologies Inc.s ultradense server, the ServerBlade 1000t.

Late last year, Transmeta rolled out a 1GHz version of the TM5800, and later this year will release the next version of Crusoe, dubbed the TM8000 Astro, which will go into production in the third quarter. Astro will enable Transmeta to move up the notebook chain into products with 12- to 14-inch screens and compete with Intel Corp.s highly touted and forthcoming Banias chip.

Earlier this month, Transmeta also said it was expanding its target industries to include the embedded market.

The companys chips and Code Morphing software—which enables Transmeta to create chips for x86 environments—use third-party software to create security features that will now be built onto the processors.

"As computer users worldwide become more mobile and communicate via wireless technologies, the threat of information theft becomes a major concern to consumers, businesses and governments," Transmeta President and CEO Matthew Perry said in a prepared statement.

Using the security technologies, users will be able to take advantage of interfaces to the Crusoe architecture to securely store sensitive data such as certificates, authentication keys and other confidential information.