Consortium unveils security spec

The Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA), a trade group representing 145 technology companies, on Tuesday released a specification to make computer data more secure. Its efforts are backed by founding members Compaq Computer Corp., Microsoft Corp. Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp.

TCPA's intention with its release of the Trusted Computing Platform Specification 1.0 is to provide the IT industry with a direction that facilitates trust in computing platforms and environments, the organization said in a statement. IBM Corp. was successful in developing the security standard that TCPA adopted at the organization's January meeting, TCPA said in a statement.

Companies that adopt the specification will use a security chip and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) software. A security chip will be used to encrypt data and it will sit on the computer's motherboard.

The security chip will cost about US$2, according to an IBM spokesman. The technology uses public-key, private-key encryption for developing digital signatures, according to the specification. The actual specification is posted on the TCPA's Web site at

IBM's own embedded security chip came out in September 1999. It ships in NetVista desktop systems. IBM Thinkpad notebooks are expected to gain the technology later this year.

The TCPA, in Hillsboro, Oregon, can be reached at +1-503-696-7954 or on the Web at

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