AMD, Google, Microsoft and NVIDIA have worked with the Linux Foundation and the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation to introduce Caliptra, a reusable silicon-level IP block that can be “a scalable, standards-based solution for the benefit of the entire industry.”
Caliptra is the group’s new open specification for Silicon Root-of-Trust (ROT) to be used with future CPUs / SoCs, GPUs, NICs, SSDs and other hardware components.
ROT is an essential security component of a connected device that is inherently trusted and has been designed to be safe by design, which ensures that only trusted firmware can run on the device.
What does this mean for potential users?
OCP said Caliptra is specifically designed to meet “emerging business models on the edge and higher levels of confidentiality in the cloud,” which he says create “new requirements for higher levels of consistency for interoperability and transparency for security.”
While the new Caliptra track apparently has some serious industry behind it, potentially it’s worth noting that Intel isn’t on the backing list.
“Independent hardware and software initiatives by diverse communities and consortia often require significant industry integration efforts,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president and general manager of Global Infrastructure at IDC. “Sellers need to convert and integrate the initiative with market-driven solutions.”
“The net effect is that many innovations will never see the light of day or serve the needs of the wider market.”
He added: “The extended collaboration between the Open Compute Project and the Linux Foundation has great potential to accelerate the absorption of open innovation into meaningful products and services.”
The Caliptra 0.5 specification is now available hereand the OCP Foundation is looking for the opinion of the community.
In addition, project partners are also offering basic seed code to industry members so that they can ‘integrate securely’ into the new silicon.