IBM Unveils Encryption For CPUs


Code-named Secure Blue, the technology encrypts data as it runs through the system to protect it from unauthorized use. The technology will protect data even when an unauthorized party has taken control of the system, according to IBM.

"Security is the highest priority in the data center and in a secure network, but it is only half the equation. To have a truly secure system, security must be addressed end to end, from the data center all the way to the end user," Charles Palmer, manager of security and privacy for IBM Research, said in a statement. "Secure Blue has the potential to be a security 'seal of approval' in industries such as consumer, medical, government and defense, and digital media."

IBM plans to license the technology to chip makers. The company said the technology will run on its PowerPC chip as well as on competing architectures.

IBM said encryption hasn’t been used outside of the data center because it can be costly to deploy and requires a lot of computing power. With Secure Blue, the company believes it has found a way around some of those problems.

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Yet IBM isn't the only company exploring chip-level security. Intel and Advanced Micro Devices have security features on tap for their next server processors, which are due out in the summer.