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Dual-identity smartphones could bridge BYOD private, corporate divide

November 26, 2012 06:01 AM ET

ARM, and now AMD, are also working with the non-profit standards organization, GlobalPlatform, to develop the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) API Specification. Founded in 1999, GlobalPlatform has its roots in the smartcard and payment market with member organizations such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Using the ARM microcontroller on the x86 chip, the TEE would create a separate area on a mobile phone's main processor that uses data encryption algorithms to secure sensitive data stored on the device. Mobile capabilities already on smartphones would allow IT organizations to track mobile devices and erase only corporate data if the device is lost or compromised, or if the employee has left the company. For example, geo-sensor technology on smartphones would allow corporations to track where employee-owned mobile phones are and wipe the devices if they left a specified region.

"So, essentially this comes down to encryption key management. How do we protect the data from one operating system so that another operating system doesn't have access to it," Perez said. "The security processor would have that responsibility."

AMD expects its news secure mobile processors to begin shipping in the second half of 2013.

Although AMD also plans to use its new x86 chips in the server and storage industry, mobile will be first.

"The mobile platform is the most exposed," Perez said. "It's the weakest link in the entire ecosystem. That's where greater levels of separation through virtualization is needed."

covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at Twitter @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS. His e-mail address is

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