Padlock, the suite of hardware security features built in to the C7 processors, has had its support expanded and extended for Windows and Linux environments by Via. Via is now offering as a free download the Software Development Kit (SDK) which lets software developers better develop for and integrate the hardware security features into their own software. Many companies require subscriptions or licensing fees for access to SDKs, so it is encouraging to see Via interested in security enough to offer it free.

"As VIA C7 and C7-M processor systems arrive on the market, we have a real opportunity to implement pervasive secure computing by enabling the power of VIA PadLock," said Richard Brown , VP of Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "When combined with the enhanced VIA PadLock SDK, both professional and novice software developers alike can simply and easily integrate the military-grade security offered by the VIA C7 processor family to combat the growing threat of cyber attacks on our PCs and notebooks.
It is available for download on their website. Padlock not only features a hardware encryption engine with various algorithms, but also the ability to do things such as generate public keys for encryption purposes and dual random number generators on the CPU itself. Of course, to take advantage of this suite and the functions padlock offers, you'd have to be using a Via processor, including the C7, C7-M, Via Eden or Via C3. These are quite popular in embedded environments, but are also starting to see growth in office environments as well, where power consumption and increasingly security is an issue.