Trusted computing: it’s not just
The ability to ensure accuracy in real-time, life- and mission-critical computing is one of the most important
aspects of embedded computing
today. The rise of multicore processors, parallel processing, real-time
networking, and precision timing
means the hardware and software
engineer has a lot more to worry
about than cybersecurity to make
sure computing results are correct.
That’s where trusted computing
This term, as we see it, means
that the computer consistently will
behave in expected ways, and that
computer hardware and software
will enforce those behaviors. Because
of the importance of the trusted
computing discipline, Military &
Aerospace Electronics is changing the
name of its Cyber Security e-newslet-ter to Trusted Computing. The reason
is there are many more aspects of
modern, high-performance, complex
embedded computing than cybersecurity issues. There’s far more to go
wrong in today’s embedded computing than a cyber hack.
Timing can be compromised,
which can bring down a tactical net-
work, the compute chain in mul-
ticore parallel processing can get
out of sync, an unanticipated com-
puter bug can change results, soft-
ware upgrades can go wrong, and
many other factors can threaten
the integrity of computers on which
lives and missions depend. There
are future errors we haven’t even
dreamed of, and we need to be ready.
Trusted computing involves a
wider universe than cybersecurity
and we’re trying to cover all the
angles, from safety-critical computing to cyber defenses, anti-tamper,
precision networking, and more.
Certainly, trusted computing
also has a narrower meaning and
we’re covering that, too. Many in
the embedded computing industry understand trusted computing
to involve loading hardware with a
unique encryption key accessible to
the rest of the system. This is crucially important, and our coverage
will encompass this discipline.
In short, we view trusted computing as involving any kind of hardware
and software architecture, design,
tool, algorithm, or anything else that
will ensure the validity of computing
results. Lives can depend on this, and
that’s why we take it so seriously.
Anyone in the computing industry supplying mission- and life-crit-ical military systems, this is about
you. If your company is involved in
trusted computing in any, we want
to hear from you. Please e-mail news
and product announcements to
We’re planning a one-day techni-
cal conference on trusted computing
sometime next year, and we’re look-
ing for industry experts to present
their views, technologies, products,
contracts, and forecasts. You’ll be
hearing more on this in the next sev-
eral weeks and months.
As we work up to our one-day
technical conference on trusted computing in November 2018, we will be
working with industry to nail-down
the definition of trusted computing.
As part of this process, we’ll be sponsoring webcasts in December 2017
and March 2018 to flesh-out how
trusted computing influences computer hardware and software.
We realize that there is probably no one company that specializes
in every aspect of trusted computing. Instead, we envision an industry
pie chart that encompasses trusted
computing. The pie chart has separate sectors of the trusted computing
industry, and within each sector we
see a range of companies with specific bands of relevant expertise.
We want to know how and where
you fit into the dynamic trusted computing industry. Sit down with your
colleagues and map out where your
company plays in trusted computing.
At the same time, we’ll be focusing
our definition of what trusted computing means, what it doesn’t mean,
and what companies are involved.
Trusted computing: It’s not just
cybersecurity anymore. Í