ARM said the new technology enables protection of on- and off-chip memory. The technology tags and partitions secure code and data within the system, and maintains a clear, hardware separation between secure and non-secure information. The separation is said to enable secure code and data to run alongside an OS securely and efficiently, without being compromised or accessible to attack.
Since the security elements of the system are designed into the core hardware, security issues surrounding proprietary, non-portable solutions outside the core are removed, ARM said. Security thus becomes an intrinsic feature of the device with minimal impact to the core area or performance, while enabling developers to build additional security, for example cryptography, on top of the secure hardware foundation.
The ARM TrustZone specification is available now, and the technology will be available for licensing in ARM CPU cores in 2004, ARM said.