VIA has announced that it has finished up integrating the Java Secure Protocol into the Padlock engine that sits inside its C7 and C7-M processors.
The VIA Padlock engine is designed to increase security in transactions on your computer. There are a few different aspects to the hardware. The first is that it includes an awesome random number generator, which allows it to generate better cryptography in hardware. The second is that it includes the ability to encrypt an entire section of your hard drive, providing a secure file store for sensitive information that only you can access, regardless of who steals your computer in the future.
Now, the Padlock engine can handle the cryptography used in secure transactions done in Java on the net.
VIA tells us that:
"VIA’s implementation of the Java Cryptography Service Provider (VIA JCP) is a background application that offloads some of the computational process involved in the Java Cryptography Architecture’s AES based cipher and secure random number generator methods to the VIA PadLock Security Engine included within all VIA C7-M and VIA C7 processors. This enables Java-based applications employing these security tools, to accelerate the computation of AES based ciphers by up to 90 times, empowering protection of information exchanged and stored in real-time, with little increase in processor utilization."
Because the engine is on the chip, but not CPU-based, it means that, as VIA say, it can do all this crazy random-number stuff without having to use up precious CPU clock cycles.
This increased security, combined with the incredibly low-power C7-M chip, makes VIA an increasingly attractive platform for laptop users on the go.
With the C7 and its derivatives, the EPIA platform and the upcoming notebook platform from VIA should make for some pretty interesting hardware reviews. We'll be bringing you more on VIA over the next couple of weeks - stay tuned, and head over to the forums in the meantime to discuss this news!