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Monday, May 26, 2008
TPM Chip Could Stop Game Piracy

PC game makers will reportedly release games encoded using private keys that could be only decoded by a TMP chip, found in latest motherboards.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a chip that conforms to the trusted platform module specification put forward by the Trusted Computing Group. Backed by companies including AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems, TPM is not another DRM system; it just stores encrypted keys that are used in a decryption process. The chip encrypts and decrypts files on the fly. A TPM chip can be used to authenticate hardware devices. Since each TPM chip has a unique and secret key burned in as it is produced, it is capable of performing platform authentication.

TPM chips are currently installed in some motherboards from Dell and Intel.

Games companies will reportedly encode their software using TPM keys, which would essentially stop game piracy. At least this is what the Atari founder Nolan Bushnell said at yesterday's Wedbush Morgan Securities annual Management Access Conference.

"There is a stealth encryption chip called a TPM that is going on the motherboards of most of the computers that are coming out now," he said.

"What that says is that in the games business we will be able to encrypt with an absolutely verifiable private key in the encryption world - which is uncrackable by people on the internet and by giving away passwords - which will allow for a huge market to develop in some of the areas where piracy has been a real problem."

Bushnell added that the high integration of games with the code would allow TPM to absolutely stop piracy of gameplay.

TPM could allow game industry could see revenues coming from Asia and India, at a time when before it didn't make sense.

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