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ARM Gets DRM: New Video Chip Has Hollywood Friendly Hardware DRM

Posted by: , 19:50 AEST, Thu June 6, 2013
Tags: ARM, Copyright, DRM

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Copy protection arms races ratchets up a notch as new ARM video processor adds Hollywood hardware DRM for video playback
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Image/Photo Credit: YayAdrian @ Flickr, CC

Mobile computer chip manufacturer ARM has unveiled a new video chip that has built in hardware DRM to protect video content on mobile devices.

Announced at Computex this week, ARM's Mali-V500 is the first of the company's video

processors to use ARM's own TrustZone technology to protect 1080p video content.

The TrustZone technology has previously featured in ARM's processor, but until recently, it has only been used to protect secure transactions - the Mali-V500 is the first chip to use TrustZone as a DRM, to protect copyrighted video content.

TrustZone works by excluding sensitive instructions from being accessible by potentially insecure software, including the operating system itself. The code will then only be processed by the trusted processor. In the case of the Mali-V500 and video decoding, this would allow encrypted video playback to bypass other hardware and the operating system itself, and be processed directly by the V500.

A single-core version of the chip will support 1080p video at 60FPS, while an eight-core version supports 4K video at up to 120 FPS.

Posting on the official ARM blog, ARM's director of market development Chris Porthouse says that ARM is only giving what major Hollywood studios are demanding. "In order to protect their multi-billion dollar investments, studios and content owners are demanding hardware-backed security across all devices that play their premium content. This means that in order to support premium content mobile and other consumer embedded devices must support hardware-backed protection of content from download to display," the blog post reads.


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