Secure Digital to Get More DRM Via the Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative

Five companies at the heart of the creation of flash memory cards have announced a collaborative project to implement in-built digital rights management (DRM) protection for HD content onto the next generation of memory cards.

Dubbed the "Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative," the project sees Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba working on technologies for preventing unauthorised copying or distribution of high-definition content via memory cards.

"Panasonic has always been an innovator in providing the best possible content viewing experience in the living room through development of Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D technologies and products," claims Panasonic chief technology officer Yoshiyuki Miyabe. "With our new secure memory solution, we are excited to create a strong link between the living room experience and the mobile experience. Now consumers can enjoy watching premier content, such as movies, on the go with their smartphones and tablets."

"Samsung believes that the time is ripe for an advanced security solution and welcomes the opportunity to deliver a highly viable solution using flash memory chips," adds Samsung EVP Young-Hyun Jun. "Samsung's ongoing commitment to technology excellence will now further extend to early market availability of high-performance NAND technologies implementing the new advanced security solution."

While framed as a net benefit for consumers, the technology - which will support Blu-ray devices as well as Android smartphones and tablets - will likely gain the ire of those who refer to DRM by its alternative expansion of 'Digital Restrictions Management.'

The technology will be used in next-generation Secure Digital (SD) cards, as well as embedded memory in consumer devices, and will feature content security facilities based on unique ID technology for each flash memory device used as well as a public-key infrastructure (PKI) system for copy protection.