S3 Graphics Demos Yet Another Content Protection Mechanism

S3 Builds-In Fujitsu’s Content Protection Mechanism into Chrome 400/500 Graphics Chips

by Anton Shilov
01/11/2009 | 11:38 AM

S3 Graphics, a fully-owned subsidiary of Via Technologies and a developer of graphics processing units (GPUs), has demonstrated a yet another content protection technology that is build into its latest graphics chips. The technology was originally developed by Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited and complements a long list of already existing technologies of the kind, such as HDCP, BD+ and so on.


The Content Protection LSI core protection mechanism thwarts unwanted IP distribution by performing real-time integrity checks, scrambling/obfuscating of content processing software at runtime to confuse hackers. It uses the graphics AES engine to safeguard the content in video memory while decoding and displaying on the latest digital HD monitors through DisplayPort or HDMI with HDCP. The Content Protection LSI core has a proprietary encryption/decryption core that works seamlessly with the AES engine located in the GPU to provide multiple levels of security.

The technology was demonstrated at the annual Lunch@Piero’s press event, held during Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 8th and 9th.

“We are excited about the collaboration with Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited in introducing this groundbreaking IP protection mechanism that  gives content providers confidence and peace-of-mind to introduce previously unavailable high quality HD media for user enjoyment. This platform truly enables a secure distribution solution and definitive step towards the convergence of digital TVs and HD Home Theatre PCs for the ultimate user experience,” said Dr. Ken Weng, general manager of S3 Graphics.

With the market transition to IP-based HD multimedia, movie studios and content creators can use this new and secure multimedia platform to protect and control precious HD video IP distribution from source to display, while overcoming the inherent vulnerabilities of today's widely used security methods.

The problem for content creators is that the technology only seems to be supported by Fujitsu and S3 Graphics, the two companies’s who don’t have significant influence either on the consumer electronics or personal computers industries. As a result, the technology is unlikely to become popular at this point, unless it is also supported by GPUs from ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia Corp. as well as Intel Corp., not talking about leading makers of consumer electronics.