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ARM wants to beef up security

Sets up joint venture

Fabless chipmaker ARM has launched a new joint venture aimed at improving security on its smartphones and tablets.

Dubbed Trustonic, the venture links the technology and software needed to provide a secure and "invisible" area within a smart mobile device that operates separately from the operating software and has no interaction with the outside world. Trustonic wants to develop a standard banks and other businesses can use to offer secure services like mobile payments and Internet shopping on a range of devices and platforms.

It is all based on ARM's Trustzone technology, a security extension that sits inside the silicon and can be programmed into the hardware of any smart mobile device. The partnership links ARM to security software companies and Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient which provide the software. Both Giesecke and Gemalto are already offering secure platforms based on ARM's Trustzone technology.

It is seen as a move to counter Intel which has an advantage when it comes to security, having formed partnerships with Visa and to help secure online shopping and mobile payments. Last year it bought security-software provider McAfee for $7.68 billion, resulting in its DeepSAFE security product that also sits below the operating system.

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