Sorry Microsoft, Dell isn't bothered about the Pluton security chip

Dell XPS 15 (2021)
(Image credit: Dell)

Dell has followed Lenovo in saying it won't be using Microsoft’s Pluton technology to secure its products.

The company confirmed to The Register that Pluton “does not align with Dell's approach to hardware security and our most secure commercial PC requirements," and will, therefore, refrain from baking it into its endpoints.

Whether or not that changes in the future, remains to be seen: "As with all new technologies, we will continue to evaluate Pluton to see how it compares against existing TPM implementations in the future," Dell's spokeswoman said.

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Waiting on HP

One of the reasons for this decision, it would seem, is that Dell provides its own additional security that’s implemented at both the software, and hardware level. The latter is where Microsoft wants to tighten things up.

The Pluton security layer was first introduced two years ago, as a product that came after collaboration with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm. It’s essentially a co-processor that’s integrated into the silicon, whose task is to store encryption keys, credentials, and other similarly sensitive information. 

The Register notes that Microsoft has drawn inspiration for Pluton from the 2013 Xbox One console, as it has a co-processor with similar functions. The company later implemented it into the Azure Sphere microcontroller for edge applications. 

But as Intel hasn’t implemented it in its 12th-Gen Core processors (Alder Lake), Dell won’t be using it. 

The same things seem to be going on at Lenovo, at least partially, as it’s new ThinkPad devices will also be powered by Intel’s chips. Those that run on the AMD Ryzen 6000, however, will include Pluton, but it will be disabled by default. Lenovo also has devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 chip, which will include Pluton.

Besides Lenovo, the other major laptop manufacturer, HP, is yet to confirm its stance on the Pluton technology. 

Via: The Register

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.