It seems like Intel is not the only one eyeing the mobile and tablet space as AMD is silently preparing behind the scenes for an onslaught next year. The CPU and graphics card maker has just entered into a partnership with ARM which states that they will be incorporating ARM’s TrustZone technology in their future APUs that will see the light of day sometime in 2013. These APUs will be specifically targeted towards mobile devices, tablets as well as desktop PCs. The TrustZone technology is a hardware level security feature that currently resides in ARM’s Cortex A5-series CPUs that make for more secure devices. This industry-first collaboration between the two firms will help accelerate broader ecosystem support by aligning x86 hardware with the world’s most broadly-adopted mobile security ecosystem.

Now with ARM's security features

Now with ARM's security features

By adopting the industry-standard approach to security that TrustZone technology embodies, AMD and ARM will provide a consistent approach to security spanning billions of Internet-connected mobile devices, tablets, PCs and servers − whether they are powered by ARM processor-based solutions or AMD x86 APUs. AMD Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mike Wolfe described AMD’s vision to advance computing security by enhancing AMD’s existing security technologies. This is expected to include developing a platform security processor using an ARM Cortex-A5 CPU that features TrustZone technology, to monitor and help protect against malicious access to sensitive data and operations at the hardware level. “With AMD’s support for, and inclusion in, the expanding TrustZone ecosystem, consumers and businesses can rest assured their data and content are secured by an industry-standard security solution that spans a multitude of devices and operating systems,” said Wolfe. In recognition of the first time hardware will be aligned to an industry-standard security solution between multiple processor architectures, the technology partnership has garnered wide support from industry leaders and influencers.

ARM TrustZone technology – a system-wide approach to security – is a key component of the ARM architecture and is integrated into the ARM Cortex-A processor series. Launched in 2004, TrustZone is a result of ongoing co-development that ARM carries out with a wide range of companies and has been implemented in a wide array of devices to date. The aim of the TrustZone ecosystem is to drive industry alignment and scalability. This will enable billions of TrustZone technology-based devices to meet the system security needs of consumers, service providers, enterprises and device manufacturers. 

Expect to see mobile phones and tablets to be powered by AMD at next year’s Mobile World Congress. The competition just got more fierce as we now have a three-way race between Intel, AMD and ARM for the fight for a place in your next smartphone.

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