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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Upside for the Mobile Device Security Hardware Market

Mobile device hardware security is becoming a priority as maturing applications for finance or government use increasingly demand more secure communication. Trust hardware and secure boot -- for trusted execution environments -- are necessary elements for such industries.

Without this security assurance, applications for mobile commerce, mobile money or wallet will have some difficulty developing and reaching adoption by the big card payment providers, according to ABI Research.

There are a number of obstacles barring the way to the full dynamic emergence of a hardware security market. Not least of which is the fragmented mobile device landscape, with as many players on the silicon IP side as in OEM manufacturing -- led by ARM, Trustonic, and Samsung.

This particular mobile movement is also colliding head-on with long-standing efforts on the PC side that is looking to adapt tried and tested methods to the mobile landscape, with Intel and Microsoft pushing the market.

Specifications on both sides of the spectrum are increasingly looking to answer the same problem, while not specifically competing head-on. TEE, TPM, and UEFI are a few of those specs looking to address the issue of intrinsic security within the device.

While a number of technology vendors are vying for leadership in the space, the market is yet too nascent and fractured, leaving many unwilling to discount a potential rival due to the highly volatile nature of the mobile landscape.

"Interesting partnerships are being formed in the market, with players still unsure which technology will ultimately prevail. Yet all are aware of the pressing demand for security and that they will need to dive into the turbulent waters soon if they want to stay ahead of the game," said Michela Menting, senior analyst in ABI Research.

ABI estimates that the current mobile hardware security market to reach $1 billion by the end of 2014. The market will offer significant opportunities for a diverse number of industry verticals: silicon IP designers, SoC manufacturers, OEMs, trusted service managers, mobile network operators and security firms.

The ABI study looked in-depth at the following companies: ARM, Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, Trustonic, Apple, and Nokia, as well as providing some insight into potential innovators such as Intrinsic-ID, Secure IC, and Inside Secure.