Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) will collaborate with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program that seeks to protect the confidentiality of encrypted information during data processing by developing an accelerator for fully homomorphic encryption.
Intel said Monday it will build an application-specific integrated circuit accelerator meant to speed up processing of FHE workloads and reduce computational overhead under DARPA’s Data Protection in Virtual Environments program.
“Fully homomorphic encryption remains the holy grail in the quest to keep data secure while in use,” Rosario Cammarota, principal engineer at Intel Labs and principal investigator for DARPA’s DPRIVE program. “Despite strong advances in trusted execution environments and other confidential computing technologies to protect data while at rest and in transit, data is unencrypted during computation, opening the possibility of potential attacks at this stage. This frequently inhibits our ability to fully share and extract the maximum value out of data.”
Cammarota added that Intel looks forward to working with DARPA and Microsoft to further advance confidential computing and unlock the potential of FHE.
William Chappell, chief technology officer for Azure Global and vice president for Microsoft’s mission systems, said the company will contribute its expertise in cloud and homomorphic encryption to the DPRIVE program to help customers address gap in the confidentiality of data while in use, storage or in transit.
DPRIVE is a multiyear program that seeks to design, build and verify foundational intellectual property blocks for integration with a system-on-chip and software stack. Intel will use homomorphically encrypted data to evaluate progress against performance targets on inference workloads and artificial intelligence training and work with Microsoft to advance the development of international FHE standards.
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