ARM sets up joint venture for common security standard for connected devices

ARM will own 40 percent of the joint venture with Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient

ARM is setting up a joint venture with security technology companies Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient to arrive at a common security standard for connected devices such as tablets, smart-TVs, games consoles and smartphones, the company said Tuesday.

The Cambridge, U.K. company, which holds a dominant share of processors that go into smartphones, said it will hold 40 percent of the joint venture with the other partners holding 30 percent each.

Security is critical for companies that wish to do business over connected devices, ARM said in a statement.

The security technology for smart connected devices developed by the joint venture will be based on technology from the companies investing in the joint venture, it added.

ARM plans for example to make its ARM TrustZone security technology, integrated into the ARM Cortex-A processor series, the basis for the development of a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), a secure environment for software execution that will utilize advanced hardware security coupled with industry standard software interfaces.

The move by ARM resembles closely Intel's bid to build hardware-assisted security products, branded DeepSAFE, after its US$7.68 billion acquisition of McAfee. DeepSAFE technology sits beyond the operating system and close to the silicon.

The investment in the joint venture was not disclosed. Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient are both ARM partners that offer security solutions to governments and for the financial and mobile industries, and will contribute their software expertise to the joint venture. The three companies will contribute assets to the new venture, including patents, software, people, cash and capital equipment.

The joint venture will also address current customers of Giesecke & Devrient's mobile security OS software MobiCore, and Trusted Logic Mobility's Trusted Foundations software. Trusted Logic Mobility is a Gemalto company.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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