updated 10:45 am EST, Mon November 13, 2006
TCM in new Macs unused
Computer researcher and Google technical staff member Amit Sing has discovered that recently manufactured Intel-based Macs feature a trusted computing module or 'TCM' chip, but that Mac OS X does not make use of the controversial technology. Trusted computing has seen widespread criticism as a result of efforts by Microsoft to use the technology to prevent software piracy. Singh, who revealed earlier this month that Apple is encrypting certain binary portions of Mac OS X to guard against easy modification, has documented the existence of the TCM chip in his recently released book entitled 'Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach.' "The TPM is an opt-in feature," Singh said. "Apple can't just turn it on-nobody can, other than the user." The TPM chip consists of a small memory chip, a true random number generator, a low-power processor, and several other components, according to eWeek.com.