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DRM firmware adopted by mobile Linux stack

Nov 6, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

A Tokyo-based vendor of embedded security technology says its DRM product will be ported to Access's Linux stack for mobile devices. Discretix says its Content Protection for Recordable Media Client offers software-based protection for music, video, and other premium content on SD cards and mobile handsets.

In February, Discretex demonstrated its DRM Client on Qt Extended (then known as Qtopia). Now, the DRM stack will apparently be available to handset vendors such as Panasonic, NEC, Esteemo, Sharp, and others that have lined up behind Access's LiMO-compliant Access Linux Platform (ALP).

The Discretix Client reportedly implements two standards for DRM on embedded devices. Maintained by the 4C-Entity organization, formed in 1999 by IBM, Intel, Panasonic, and Toshiba, the standards include:

  • Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM)
  • Content Protection for Pre-recorded Media (CPPM)

Furthermore, the Discretix Client reportedly works “in parallel” with several other DRM implementations available from Discretix, including those already in NTT DoCoMo's popular “iMode” data service. Other available Discretix DRM implementations include:

  • i Mode
  • ECFM

Discretix CPRM Client architecture
(Click to enlarge)

Additional touted features of the Discretix CPRM Client include:

  • All cryptographic and CPRM-related operations executed within device's main processor (no hardware security coprocessor required)
  • Enables additional ID binding, for adding business models
  • Compatible with Linux, OSE, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Nucleus

More about ALP

At its recent “Access Day” developer event, Access confirmed earlier reports that DoCoMo has selected the ALP middleware and application stack as a successor to its MOAP/L Linux platform, long used by suppliers Panasonic, NEC, and Esteemo in dozens of popular Linux phones. DoCoMo will begin distributing 3G FOMA phones based on ALP in the second half of 2009, Access said.

ALP inside: the
Embaze Edelweiss

(Click for details)

In addition, Access confirmed that Sharp used ALP in its Emblaze Edelweiss smartphone (pictured at right), which will be distributed in Russia. Since Sharp also supplies phones to DoCoMo, it appears possible that it, too, will deliver ALP phones to DoCoMo and possibly even other carriers such as Bouygues in France that use DoCoMo's telecom infrastructure equipment.

At Access Day, Access also dropped a few hints about its upcoming ALP 3.0 release, revealing that it will be compatible with the LiMo Platform specification, and that it offers “an advanced UI.” It also released a new “Mini” version of ALP designed for designed for feature phones, low-end smartphones, portable navigation devices (PNDs), portable media players (PMPs), and set-top boxes (STBs).


Neither Discretix or Access offered a timetable for the availability of the CPRM Client. More information on the Discretix CPRM Client may be found here.

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