ARM launches smartphone security joint venture

Mobile wallet

ARM has launched a new joint venture that aims to secure smartphones and tablets against virus and other malicious software.

Dubbed Trustonic, the joint venture with Dutch security software makers Gemalto and German company Giesecke & Devrient, is proposing a secure extension separate from the operating system that manufacturers can build into smart devices.

This collaboration will enable us to trust our smart connected devices to protect us as they deliver essential service.

Under the terms of the deal, ARM owns 40 per cent of the joint venture, with the other two holding 30 per cent each. The alliance will run for eight years initially.

The technology is based on ARM's Trustzone technology, with Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient providing the security and management software.

The technology, it is hoped, will secure e-commerce transactions on smartphones as people use desktops and laptops less in favour of handheld devices.

Trustonic has signed up partners including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Cisco, Discretix, Good Technology, INSIDE Secure, Irdeto, MasterCard, Nvidia, Samsung Electronics, Sprint, Symantec, and Wave Systems.

The company will be led by the former general manager of ARM's secure services division Ben Cade and CTO Jon Geater, as well as COO Chris Jones, the former vice president of licensing for ARM's processor division.

The firm will be headquartered in Cambridge (UK), with offices across Asia, Europe and North America.

"Trustonic builds upon decades of experience between ARM, Gemalto and G&D in developing secure technology for connected devices," said Cade.

"The launch of Trustonic marks a turning point in our connected world. It will enable us to trust our smart connected devices to protect us as they deliver essential services and innovative user experiences."

The company will focus on the development of a GlobalPlatform compliant Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which will offer a common security standards for connected devices.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.