General Software Demonstrates Firmbase with VIA PadLock Hardware Security

4/1/2004 - OEMs who want to build security into their embedded devices will get a first-hand look at a powerful solution at the Embedded Systems Conference this week. General Software and VIA Technologies, Inc. will showcase VIA’s low power-draw native x86 VIA Eden and C3 processors running General Software’s OS-independent Embedded BIOS and Firmbase on a VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX mainboard. General Software, the only BIOS vendor focused on deeply embedded x86 applications, and VIA, a leader in silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, will show General Software’s EBIOS and Firmbase operating environment and development tools leveraging the Random Number Generation and AES encryption built into new Nehemiah core VIA processors.

In addition to authentication and access control, General Software’s Firmbase provides a development environment for 32-bit applications that reside on the SMM (System Management Mode) side of the x86 architecture. The core set of application development tools in Firmbase make it easy for developers to create their own security applications such as database encryption that use VIA’s processor-level PadLock Security Suite. By addressing security at the hardware level, OEMs can build applications for VIA’s on-die hardware encryption that incur very little load on the processor and eliminate the need to rely on a more vulnerable security alternative such as an operating system or other software solutions.

"With processors like the tiny Eden-N processor, VIA has produced the ideal hardware complement to our BIOS with world class features that quickly enable today’s OEM to design a more desirable product with high quality security features. OEMs can now design more competitive, secure and compact devices based on VIA’s highly integrated and power efficient platforms with minimal additional R&D time and cost," said General Software Vice President of Sales, Steve Dearden.

"Our collaboration with General Software is helping to accelerate the development of the next generation of smart digital devices that carry out security operations natively. Combining the fanless VIA Eden-N processor with the fast boot time and small footprint of the General Software BIOS, we are providing platforms for tomorrow’s demanding embedded applications," said Associate Vice-President of Marketing for VIA Technologies, Inc. Richard Brown.

About the VIA Eden-N Processor
The VIA Eden-N processor is based on the new Nehemiah core featuring the PadLock Security Suite integrated directly on to the processor die, including the new PadLock Advanced Cryptography Engine (ACE) and two hardware based RNGs. This produces market leading encryption rates of 12.5Gbs with minimal load on the processor, enabling compact, low power designs that can natively assist security applications.

Available at speeds of 533MHz, 800MHz, and 1GHz, the VIA Eden-N processor features the tiny nanoBGA processor package, measuring just 15mm x 15mm, making it the world’s smallest native x86 processor that is expanding the reach of the x86 architecture to consumer electronics and commercial devices that require compatibility with PC hardware and software. With Thermal Design Power (TDP) values of 4W, 6W and 7W respectively, the VIA Eden-N processor also boasts the world’s lowest power consumption from a native x86 processor.

The VIA Eden-N processor comes packed with advanced performance features such as StepAhead™ Advanced Branch Prediction, sixteen pipeline stages, support for SSE multimedia instructions, a full-speed Floating Point Unit (FPU) and an efficiency-enhanced 64KB Full-Speed Exclusive L2 cache with 16-way associativity for memory optimization. For more information on the VIA Eden-N processor, please visit the VIA Eden Platform website at:

About Firmbase
Firmbase is an operating environment that runs in System Management Mode or SMM. Firmbase uses patented technology to run 32-bit firmware applications concurrently with the foreground operating system. It provides a multi-threaded API to 32-bit applications running transparently to the other software in the system, including the BIOS and operating system. These programs -- called Firmware Applications -- are developed using standard, 32-bit Windows Portable Executable (PE) development tools. For more information on Firmbase please visit the General Software website at:

About the Embedded BIOS® 2000
Embedded BIOS addresses the entire lifecycle of embedded products, from board bring-up, configuration prototyping, testing with system diagnostics, and product manufacturing to in-field diagnostics and software reload. Features include an integrated debugger; console redirection; highly configurable POST; manufacturing mode; ROM, RAM, and Flash file systems; support for a host of industry initiatives; and much more. Embedded BIOS supports industry-standard operating systems that run on PC-compatible hardware, including the full spectrum of Windows, Linux, and real-time operating systems.

About General Software
General Software, Inc. provides superior enabling firmware and world-class support for OEM manufacturers of telecommunications, data communications, consumer electronics, dedicated servers, and other specialized computing devices. General Software’s well-architected and reliable firmware products reduce risk, speed development, and address the embedded OEM’s product lifecycle needs. For more information about General Software and its embedded firmware, visit, e-mail, or contact Tanya Topoleski at 800-850-5755 or 425-576-8300.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators.

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