ARM announces anti-piracy chip

ARM announces anti-piracy chip

Summary: It's not all about DRM anymore -- we're entering the realm of hardware.

Credit: ARM

In the midst of announcing a range of new processors at Computex 2013, ARM has announced a new type of piracy protection -- the Mali-V500.

In an announcement today and as reported by sister site CNET, the British chipmaker revealed a number of new silicon designs that cater for a range of future mobile devices.

Among the new processors is the Mali-V500; a mid-range mobile chip which reduces system bandwidth by over 50 percent in comparison to current processors. The Mali-V500 is a multicore video solution which is capable of scaling from a single core, reaching encoding levels of 1080p/60 and is also capable of decoding to multiple cores at 120 frames per second -- all the while supporting 4K resolution.

However, the chip design also centered around preventing the piracy of 1080p class video through the use of TrustZone security technology. According to The Financial Times, ARM also consulted Hollywood Studios while designing the chip, which is able to prevent the copying of copyrighted video as it is streamed or decoded on a mobile device. Chris Porthouse, director of market development for ARM’s media processing division commented:

"Hollywood movie studios and major content distributors like Netflix and others are demanding for premium or early window content -- their highest-value content -- to be protected not just by digital rights management but by the hardware, all the way from download through to display."

In addition to the piracy-thwarting hardware, ARM also announced a number of chips for mobile devices. The Cortex-A12 is more powerful than the Cortex-A9 and is planned for mid-range smartphones; whereas the Mali-T622 graphics processing unit is apparently 50 percent more efficient than its Mali predecessors.

ARM believes that 580 million mid-range smartphones and tablets will be sold in 2015. We can expected the new range of chips that ARM will produce to accomodate this predicted consumer trend to be available in mid-2014.

Topics: ARM, Mobility, Piracy, Processors

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  • Wonderful!

    What next? Perhaps a mandatory chip in the brain to block out the viewing of allegedly pirated material? In the process, the Dark Web grows exponentially larger!

    Imagine! A chip designer is toeing the line set down by Hollywood studios and distribution companies! Who said Hollywood manufactures dreams? It would appear it creates reality nowadays!
  • Not An Anti-Piracy Chip, But An Anti-Consumption Chip

    Because it's all about making the content less useful, isn't it?
  • Fools

    I own shares in ARM, this now makes me want to sell them and probably why they've been dropping over the past week.
    Jon Donnis
  • anti piracy hardware

    the pc industry is cutting its own throat just to cooperate with the anti-piracy lawyers . 80% or more of pc hardware ( especially storage devises ) are sold to consumers today specifically because they can share files on file sharing sites . when pcs no longer are capable of using file sharing sites the sales of pcs and pc peripherals wil plunge to nothing .
  • And this will stop piracy how?

    So you can't copy protected content off the tablet, big deal. The pirates would have a workaround that works on a PC for that same content anyway. And once it's copied, anyone who wanted to watch it on the tablet.... can just download it and watch it on the tablet. This chip isn't going to stop that.
  • This sounds

    pretty evil.
  • Tablet piracy?

    Is there really a problem of piracy on ARM-based mobile devices? In any case, it doesn't matter how complex the encryption, once it is decrypted for display it can be copied. All it does is create a nuisance for 99% of users while pirates still pirate.
  • ARM: Stop Pleasing greedy Hollywood and Lawyers

    Chris Porthouse, director of market dev. for ARM’s media processing division: You are fired.
    The world has DRM with nothing but nightmares. ARM should add more values not creating crisis. Why change now?
    It is very easy to slow down piracy: suing every single living life in China, Pakistan, Philippines, South America and India. While you are there, ask the local governments and law enforcement to help you out. Time to create more jobs for lawyers.
    Time for MPAA and Hollywood to revolutionize the industry.
    AMR Holdings and its ecosystems must keeping a respected distance and continue to focus on worldwide customers and partners.