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Security

Transmeta to add antivirus feature to chips

Following in the footsteps of rival chipmakers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, Transmeta is working to make its microprocessors capable of protecting computers from virus and worm attacks.

    Chipmaker Transmeta is working to make its microprocessors capable of protecting computers from virus and worm attacks, the company said Monday.


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    New technology will be included in Efficeon processors that will work with a virus protection feature Microsoft plans to include in Windows XP Service Pack 2, the second major update to Windows XP, due in the second quarter of 2004.

    The "No Execute," or NX, technology is designed to help prevent a buffer overflow, a type of attack that involves overwhelming a computer's defense systems and inserting a malicious program in buffer, or temporary, memory.

    Worm attacks such as those triggered by Sasser recently and the MSBlast and Welchia worms last year, used this method, Transmeta said.

    Intel and Advanced Micro Devices spoke in January about releasing similar technology in their processors. AMD's Execution Protection technology, contained in its Athlon 64 chips, is designed to prevent buffer overflows.

    Transmeta said it will provide advance versions of Efficeon-based systems with NX support to Microsoft for testing. The NX-equipped Efficeon chips are due for general release later this year.