November 26, 2020

Microsoft introduced Pluton, a new security chip for Windows 10

2 min read

Microsoft recently announced the launch of a new security chip, Pluton, for Windows 10 PCs. This chip has actually been integrated with software and hardware in Xbox One and Azure Sphere and is now launched for Windows 10 PCs. This is a hardware-based solution, so users need to purchase a new computer that supports this chip, which is not supported by old computers.

The current hardware-based security mainly comes from the TPM trusted module separated from the CPU. The problem with this solution is that although the TPM is very effective, the attacker can target the channel between the TPM and the CPU, so this is a weakness.

Therefore, the solution for the Pluton security chip is to directly integrate the chip into the CPU. Microsoft said that the company is working with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm to integrate the security chip directly into the CPU. Of course, AMD will be the first to use this security chip.

“At AMD, security is our top priority and we are proud to have been at the forefront of hardware security platform design to support features that help safeguard users from the most sophisticated attacks. As a part of that vigilance, AMD and Microsoft have been closely partnering to develop and continuously improve processor-based security solutions, beginning with the Xbox One console and now in the PC. We design and build our products with security in mind and bringing Microsoft’s Pluton technology to the chip level will enhance the already strong security capabilities of our processors.” – Jason Thomas, head of product security, AMD

The Pluton chip also needs to be used with TPM trusted modules, such as Bitlocker and System Guard. Microsoft said that malware cannot delete security information from the Pluton chip in any way.

As a measure to improve security, the firmware update of the Pluton chip will be directly responsible for Microsoft, and Microsoft can directly provide update support for all devices through Windows Update or Azure Sphere security services.

It is not clear when the Pluton chip will be shipped, and the price of the CPU equipped with the chip may also be higher than the normal price.