Chipmaker Transmeta is working to make its microprocessors capable of
protecting computers from virus and worm attacks, the company said Monday.
New technology will be included in Efficeon
processors that will work with a virus protection feature Microsoft plans to
include in Windows XP Service Pack 2, the
second major update to Windows XP, due in the
second quarter of 2004.
The "No Execute," or NX, technology is designed to help prevent a buffer
overflow, a type of attack that involves overwhelming a computer's defense
systems and inserting a malicious program in buffer, or temporary, memory.
Worm attacks such as those triggered by Sasser recently and the MSBlast and Welchia worms last year, used this
method, Transmeta said.
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices spoke in January about releasing similar
technology in their processors. AMD's Execution Protection
technology, contained in its Athlon 64 chips, is designed to prevent buffer
Transmeta said it will provide advance versions of Efficeon-based systems
with NX support to Microsoft for testing. The NX-equipped Efficeon chips are due
for general release later this year.