ARM Ltd. today said it will integrate InterTrust Technologies Corp.'s digital rights-management (DRM) functionality into its microprocessor cores.
The InterTrust technology will enable OEMs to use ARM core-based devices to develop certified solutions to rights-protect and manage audio and other content.
ARM will integrate DRM features across its entire product family, with initial products based on the ARM7 core targeted for availability from ARM Silicon Partners early in the third quarter.
"The ARM/InterTrust agreement is an important milestone in the development of a secure, global digital-commerce platform," said Edmund J. Fish, executive vice president and chief business officer of InterTrust Technologies, based in Santa Clara, Calif. "We believe the combination of ARM's leading hardware designs with InterTrust's DRM technology will create a general-purpose solution for high-performance and robust security across a broad range of prod ucts and markets." Those could include wireless communications, handheld computing, set-top boxes, and electronic books, he said.
ARM, Cambridge, England, is the first major IP vendor to embrace the digital rights-management technology, which is designed to protect and manage the rights of creators or purveyors of digital information. InterTrust's DRM allows authors, publishers, and music content suppliers to specify rules regarding the use of digital information, and the consequences resulting from that use.
Qdesign, a Canadian maker of audio codecs, has licensed InterTrust's DRM technology, while Cirrus Logic Corp. has added DRM to its Maverick portable-audio chips.
"As the consumer-electronics market becomes Internet-enabled, products ranging from digital audio players to cellular telephones to personal organizers will need to include sophisticated, yet easy-to-integrate mechanisms for the security and protection of digital content," said Reynette Au, vice president of worldwide marketing at ARM. "ARM's decision to choose InterTrust as its preferred DRM technology and integrate its DRM features into ARM core-based designs will enable electronics manufacturers to provide a new generation of peripheral devices that will be 'commerce-ready' for the highest-quality content."
InterTrust's DRM platform is general-purpose and manages most media types, including music, publications, business information, video, games, software, and images. As part of the MetaTrust Utility, a nondiscriminatory, policy-neutral environment for digital commerce, it enables a digital-commerce platform that supports multiple formats and content types.
"What is compelling about the ARM-InterTrust relationship is that hardware security represents the evolutionary path of DRM technology," said Olin Sibert, vice president of strategic technologies at InterTrust. "InterTrust and its partners are positioning themselves to provide more hardened security than what is currently available. With InterTrust DRM-enabled inte llectual property from ARM, we believe device manufacturers will be able to quickly develop MetaTrust-certified products and systems that provide the highest level of security and reliability."