RSA Encrypting AMD’s Hammer Chips

In the quest to make its chips more appealing to device makers, AMD Wednesday said it has inked a deal with RSA Security to encrypt some of its modes.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker said RSA has agreed to help protect current AMD Athlon processors and upcoming AMD 32-bit and 64-bit processors based on Hammer technology.

The new Hammer chip, which is due out in March or April, is expected to debut in several servers with a notebook version of the chips coming out about the same time.

The Hammer family will also include the AMD-8111 HyperTransport I/O hub, the AMD-8131 HyperTransport PCI-X tunnel, and the AMD-8151 HyperTransport AGP3.0 graphics tunnel. HyperTransport technology helps slash system bottlenecks, boost efficiency and increase system throughput by reducing the number of buses.

“The combination of AMD and RSA Security technologies provides our shared enterprise customers world-class power and stability, and we expect our upcoming 64-bit compatible products to be key in meeting the demands of the rapidly-evolving market,” said AMD Infrastructure Enablement Group director Ed Gasiorowski.

Bedford, Mass.-based RSA said it will use its RSA BSAFE Crypto-C and RSA BSAFE Crypto-C Micro Edition encryption software to optimize the AMD chips.

The Crypto-C is optimized for x86-64 technology, while the Micro Edition is targeted for constrained devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, consumer electronic devices and wireless LAN or VoIP equipment.

These two cryptographic products are the foundation for other RSA BSAFE products, so future versions of the RSA BSAFE family software will benefit from these performance improvements as well.

“RSA Security has focused on enabling maximum security and performance in the RSA BSAFE family of products, and we are please to deliver some of the best encryption software in the market today,” said Victor Chang, vice president, Developer Solutions division at RSA Security. “We look forward to continuing our work with AMD to provide developers with the best tools for achieving secure, responsive e-security.”

AMD has been struggling to take some steam out of Intel’s 80 percent dominance in the chip market.

Intel has turned to an embedded technology design (code named LaGrande) to make its future chips more secure, although the company has not identified which of its chips due in the next two years would take advantage of the new technology.

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