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ARM Targets Mobile Security with Joint Venture

Tue, 04/03/2012 - 7:16am
Maisie Ramsay

Chip heavyweight ARM said today it is teaming up with Gemalto and Germany's Giesecke & Devrient on a three-way joint venture targeting mobile security.

The companies hope to create a "common security standard" for services running on smartphones, tablets and other connected devices like gaming consoles and smart televisions.  

The standard could find use in applications ranging from digital movie rentals to mobile payments, the chief executives of ARM and Gemalto said in the announcement. 

"The integration of the hardware, software and services necessary for system-wide security has been slow,” ARM CEO Warren East said in a statement. "I am confident that this new joint venture will accelerate the adoption of a common security standard, enabling a vibrant ecosystem of secure service providers to emerge." 

Ensuring the mobile environment is secure has become increasingly important as a growing number of financial transactions are conducted on smartphones and tablets.

The joint venture will first focus on creating a common, secure environment for software programs. Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient, both longstanding partners with ARM, will handle the software side of the initiative, which will be based on ARM's TrustZone security technology.  

Gemalto specializes in digital security. Giesecke & Devrient targets the payments market, and its products include protection for mobile payments and banking services on Android smartphones. 

ARM will own 40 percent of the company, with Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient splitting the remaining 60 percent stake evenly between each other.

“Our combined efforts will result in the ecosystem as a whole being able to capitalize on the built-in security architectures, especially for transient data such as encryption keys for digital movie rentals, and reduce uncertainties for service providers wanting to launch and manage new services," Gemalto CEO Olivier Piou said in a statement.  

Giesecke & Devrient CEO Karsten Ottenberg said in the announcement that the mass-market development of a secure application environment was "complementary" to existing secure elements.  

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