Intel, VeriSign Unite to Boost Laptop Security
A new hardware-based user authentication capability will be available in Intel's upcoming Banias microprocessors, due out next year in notebook computers.
In an announcement Tuesday, Intel and digital trust services vendor VeriSign said they're partnering in a multiyear deal to provide hardware-based authentication options that notebook computer makers can incorporate into their business-class machines.
The new line of Intel
The idea, says Ed Kim, a product line manager at Mountain View, California-based VeriSign, is that by using hardware user authentication, corporate computing can be
Because the features will be built into the notebook's hardware, users won't need to use other authentication tools, such as
According to VeriSign, the planned features will allow for improved security-enhanced remote access and messaging, single sign-on, and trusted peer-to-peer computing in an enterprise computing environment. Such easy-to-provide authentication features are considered more critical in business computing today because of the mobility and wireless communications available to notebook computer users.
"Our work together will enable a new generation of safer, mobile wireless computing, bringing a wide range of security-enhanced applications and software for future Banias PC users," Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group, says in a statement. "This is a significant step in addressing authentication and security issues--both of which are critical for end users who desire increased mobility."
Kim has no estimate of how much the new system would cost as part of a Banias-equipped laptop. Original equipment manufacturers will have the option of including the new technology in their machines, and eventually the two companies will look at the option of providing such features to desktop PC makers, he says.
Analysts say hardware authentication is where the market is heading.
Eric Hemmendinger, an analyst at
"At some point, it will make sense when the numbers [of users] go up," he says. "This is a ... long-term play."
Pete Lindstrom, an analyst at
"The big question is how many laptops will incorporate this [TPM] chip," Lindstrom says.