ARM starts joint security venture

“When we were fabless” chip design company ARM has teamed up with Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient in a bid to create a more secure world for connected devices.

According to a joint statement all three are spending cash to speed up the adoption of a common security standard. Apparently this will create a “vibrant ecosystem” and no one wants their ecosystem dull.

The idea is that if there is better security, consumers will trust their devices and services, which will take some time, because consumers have been hurt so many times before.

Technology developed by the joint venture will be use systems already developed by the three founding companies.

Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient offer security to governments and for the financial and mobile industries. They are offering to contribute their software expertise to the joint venture to improve standardisation and interoperability.

All three will contribute assets to the new venture, including patents, software, people, cash and capital equipment. ARM will own 40 percent of the joint venture, with Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient each owning 30 percent.

The idea appears to be to develop what ARM calls a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) similar to ARM’s TrustZone security technology. This will create a common, secure environment for software execution which will use advanced hardware security, coupled with industry standard software interfaces.

ARM thinks that by providing a secure environment for multiple silicon, software and device manufacturing partners, the joint venture will enable greater operational efficiency across the whole mobile industry.

Warren East, CEO, ARM said that the integration of the hardware, software and services necessary for system-wide security has been slow. He thinks that this new joint venture will speed up the adoption of a common security standard, enabling a vibrant ecosystem of secure service providers to emerge.