The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) has released software specifications designed to enable developers to create applications using the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 security chip.
Developers and makers of professional software development kits can use the specifications to create applications that incorporate the TPM's latest security features and further bolster computer security.
The TPM is an open industry standard that can be used securely to store and encrypt information. While most of the TPM's security features can be performed by software, the TCG argues that the chip performs these tasks more securely and reliably.
The chips are deployed mostly in business desktop and laptop computers. TCG is also developing a special version of the chip for enterprise servers and mobile phones.
Microsoft relies on the chip for the Bitblocker feature in its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system. The technology will prevent data loss if a laptop computer is stolen by encrypting the contents of the hard drive.
Apple is also believed to use the chip in its new Intel-powered iMacs and MacBook Pro systems to prevent users from running its OS X operating system on non-Apple hardware. A spokesman declined to comment on the use of the chip in its systems.
The new TCG Software Stack Specification enables applications that use new features added in version 1.2 of the security chip, which was unveiled in November 2003.
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