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ARM-led security venture announces partners


Richard Handford

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A mobile security venture backed by UK chip vendor ARM has announced its launch partners, including Samsung, Sprint, MasterCard, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Cisco.

The new venture is called Trustonic and is backed by ARM alongside NFC vendors Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient.

Its aim is to accelerate the adoption of a common security standard at the chip level on connected devices including smartphones and tablets.

The venture was first announced by its three backers in April but has today announced its first partners and its Trustonic brand.

The venture’s concept is to develop chip level security which is separate from a device’s OS and offer a so-called Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) that can be used to store the kind of data that subscribers want to keep secure but easily accessible.

This could include some data such as PINs, hence it has potential implications for mobile payment services. The approach could offer an alternative to the secure element on a NFC handset.

Other partners announced today include chipset vendors Inside Secure and Nvidia (the former is a specialist in making NFC chipsets), as well as Discretix, Irdeto, Good Technology, Symantec and Wave Systems.

The TEE will be based on an ARM technology called Trustzone which will be enhanced by partners Gemalto and G&D. The aim is to generate revenue by licensing the technology to handset vendors and others.

ARM is Trustonic’s leading shareholder with a 40 percent stake, while the other two backers each have a 30 percent interest.

AllThingsD quotes the new venture’s CEO, Ben Cade (pictured), as saying the three partners are backing it with “tens of millions,” without being more specific about the exact amount.

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