SanDisk announced TrustedFlash, a new DRM protected platform that will enable users to buy premium music, movies and games on flash memory cards for use interchangeably in mobile phonesn PDAs, notebooks and other portable devices.
Consumers will be able to download premium content from online digital music services through their mobile phone or PC. They'll also be able to purchase pre-recorded content on SanDisk's new gruvi cards, the first product to be released with TrustedFlash.
TrustedFlash will empower consumers to use their purchased content in a multiplicity of supported devices, in contrast to today's closed, proprietary systems that bind content to a particular host device, such as a specific cell phone or MP3 player. TrustedFlash technology empowers the card itself to be the manager of digital rights, thus giving consumers the freedom to transfer the card - and its content - to other supported devices without compromising its content protection system. TrustedFlash cards also function as regular cards in non-secure host devices.
TrustedFlash addresses the security concerns of content providers as well as SanDisk OEM customers such as mobile network operators and mobile phone manufacturers. Among the companies that have adopted the TrustedFlash platform are EMI Music, Samsung Mobile Communications, Yahoo! Music and NDS.
"TrustedFlash cards are highly secure, thanks to an on-board processor, a high-performance cryptographic engine and tamper-resistant technology that are designed to provide much higher level security than has previously existed on memory cards and on most consumer electronics devices," said Yoram Cedar, SanDisk's senior vice president of engineering and the emerging markets business unit. "Cards built on the TrustedFlash platform will provide full digital rights management capabilities, supporting industry security standards such as both symmetric and asymmetric algorithms." TrustedFlash cards, he added, can be customized to meet any OEM customer's specific security and digital rights management (DRM) solutions, including integrating their own chosen DRM solution and rights portability across many devices. SanDisk is currently working with a number of leading handset manufacturers to enable their handsets to support TrustedFlash cards through a software upgrade.
The TrustedFlash platform is aimed at providing the flexibility that customers demand with their content while meeting the security requirements of content providers -- record labels, movie studios, game producers, mobile phone manufacturers and mobile network operators. These worldwide providers of wireless voice and data services can use TrustedFlash cards to store secure data and content as well as to enable new and existing services.
In a second phase planned for 2006, it is expected that TrustedFlash will also support mobile commerce applications and enable handsets to perform secure online financial transactions such as credit card payments, mass-transit access and one-time password authentication.
TrustedFlash cards are available immediately to OEM customers in the miniSD, microSD and SD card formats, with maximum capacities of up to 2GB. For consumers, TrustedFlash gruvi music cards with preloaded music content are expected to be available in the near future.