UPDATED 09:00 EDT / JUNE 29 2020


Accenture, AMD, Facebook and Nvidia sign up to advance ‘Confidential Computing’

An industry group called the Confidential Computing Consortium, which aims to standardize the way that data is encrypted while in use, said today it’s adding 10 more members to its community.

The Linux Foundation-backed project said it’s welcoming a raft of big names to its community, including Accenture Plc, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Facebook Inc. and Nvidia Corp. That’s on top of lesser-known startups: Anjuna Security Inc., Anqlave Pte. Ltd., Cosmian Tech SAS, iExec Blockchain Tech SAS, IoTeX and R3 Technologies Corp.

The consortium is working to standardize on a method for ensuring that data can be encrypted while it’s being processed in-memory, without exposing it to other parts of a computer system. Although methods for encrypting data at rest and data in transit have already been widely adopted in the technology industry, there’s still no reliable way to secure information as it’s actually being used.

That may soon change, though, as the consortium is advancing the development of an open-source framework called the Open Enclave Software Development Kit. It’s used to build Trusted Execution Environments for applications that can run on multiple kinds of computing architectures.

TEEs refer to a secure part of computer chips that can encrypt the data and code that’s loaded inside it, so that other parts of the processor cannot access it. Effectively what they do is create isolated execution environment that protects data as it’s being used. The Consortium hopes the Open Enclave SDK will become a common framework for building applications that can take advantage of TEEs.

The Consortium said its new members all possess unique expertise that should help it to achieve that goal.

“In the past five months, we’ve added 10 new members, including the largest social network, a preeminent consultancy, a leading semiconductor manufacturer and pioneer in graphics processing,” said Stephen Walli, Governing Board chair of the Confidential Computing Consortium.

The consortium was established in 2019 by Microsoft Corp., along with founding members Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Arm Ltd., Baidu Inc., Google Cloud, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Red Hat Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

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