IBM plans to ship PCs with an embedded security chip on the motherboard, according to a company official.
The chip, a cryptographic microprocessor, supports key encryption for privacy and digital signatures for authentication, said Anne Gardner, IBM's general manager of desktop systems. Coming with the microprocessor is IBM software called User Verification Manager that will offer support in setting up user identityThe chip will be available the first week of October in IBM PC 300PL commercial systems, as the first step in bringing the security capability to nearly all IBM desktops, said Gardner. Pricing will be released on Tuesday, she said.
"IBM has been shipping security products for a long time, but this is the first time security has been on the desktop," Gardner said.
One analyst said the chip is a significant addition to security technology.
"This technology will now be commercially available for workstations at a reasonable cost," said Abner Germanow, senior analyst for internet security at researcher IDC. "Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend of moving higher levels of security to high performance workstations and then to PCs and devices that everybody uses."