TI's on-chip security feature, called M-Shield, will be able to decode 1080p high-definition movie streams originating from Netflix, said Fred Cohen, director of the OMAP user experience team at TI. A security layer unlocks the encoded video, which can then be played back on smartphones and tablets or TV sets connected through an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port.
The purpose of having this technology is to provide end-to-end security for protected video content, Cohen said. Movie studios are making more high-definition 1080p content available and are adamant about protecting those movies, which are considered premium content.
The on-chip feature minimizes the ability to copy content, as it is easy to take control of a rooted Android device, Cohen said. It's easy for users to access memory where the stream is temporarily stored, and then write the movie to another device.
"You have to protect those devices," Cohen said. "We have implemented a firewall."
Intel has implemented a similar end-to-end security feature called Insider on its Sandy Bridge chips for PCs, which started shipping earlier this year. Controversy has dogged the technology, with Intel being accused of trying to gain control over online movies by requiring users to have Sandy Bridge processors. Intel denied that Insider was DRM (digital rights management) technology, saying it was purely a security feature.