Cirrus to develop secure Net audio chip

New chip will incorporate InterTrust's digital rights management technology

Cirrus Logic and InterTrust have teamed up to produce the world's first secure system-on-a-chip for digital audio players.

The new chip, which will be added to Cirrus' Maverick line of Internet audio processors, will incorporate InterTrust's digital rights management technology.

Embedding DRM technology into a chip will mean that manufacturers of hardware digital music players will be able to guarantee that their products will be compatible with the eventual specifications from the SDMI. The technology prevents the violation of set business rules for content access or hacking of cryptographic keys.

Although the chip is presently positioned for use in music players, Cirrus hopes that the inclusion of the MetaTrust security platform will make it suitable for use in other Internet devices, such as PDAs and mobile phones.

Based on Cirrus' ARM720T, the chips will support multiple audio formats. Samples will be available to manufacturers in the first half of 2000.