Microsoft's Pluto security processor

Microsoft is revealing information about its Pluto security processor. This is a chip that contains encryption keys and will be much more secure than the TPM chip. Pluto will indeed succeed the TPM chip (or Trusted Platform Module). It is an integrated hardware solution. Pluto helps improve the security of processors by storing encryption keys. Microsoft Pluto will be present in the next processors from Qualcomm, but also from Intel and AMD. Microsoft has partnered with AMD to develop Pluto, since this chip is inspired by the AMD Security Processor (ASP) which was initiated in 2013 with the launch of the Xbox One video game console.

The TPM process has protected computers for over 10 years. Nowadays, the TPM is totally outdated, hackers have meanwhile created physical attacks of the Specter and Meltdown type which can target TPM's big weak point, namely the bus connecting the security chip to the processor.

With Pluto, the chip is located directly in the central unit, there is no more connection bus. Thanks to Pluto, encryption keys, Windows user credentials, various credentials, as well as personal data will be better protected. Even if a hacker is in complete possession of the computer, or malware has been installed on the PC, none of this information can be extracted from Pluto. To be compatible with current TPM APIs, Windows computers that will have the Pluto architecture will emulate the TPM process; they will then be able to work with System Guard and BitLocker.

Pluto takes the form of a 32-bit Cortex-A5, inked in the SoC. This architecture has been widely proven with the Xbox One console.

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