Microsoft’s Pluto security processor debuts on AMD chips in new Lenovo ThinkPad laptops

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Z Series laptops will include Microsoft’s Pluto security processors in an AMD processor. (Image from Lenovo)

Lenovo has unveiled two new laptops made from materials including recycled aluminum and “recycled black vegan leather,” which come in packaging made from compostable bamboo and cane. But under the eco-friendly hardware, there is another innovation – Microsoft’s Pluto security processor.

The new Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and Z16, announced Tuesday at the CES Las Vegas International Technology Show, are the first PCs to be unveiled with Pluto since Microsoft announced the security architecture in November 2020. Pluto uses security technologies that otherwise exist in separate hardware. in Windows PCs and integrates them directly into the central processing unit.

In this case, the CPU is the new AMD Ryzen PRO 6000 Series processor.

AMD CEO Lisa Su at the company presentation at CES on Tuesday.

“Our co-development work with Microsoft eliminates all attack vectors on laptops, better protecting critical data such as system credentials, user identities, encryption keys and personal information. AMD CEO Lisa Su said at the company’s CES press conference on Tuesday morning. “The Pluto processor, combined with our other security features, provides the most innovative security in a PC processor. “

Pluto is inspired by the chip design that Microsoft introduced with the Xbox One in 2013. The company also uses technology from its Azure Sphere processors for IoT devices.

It is “designed to store sensitive data, such as encryption keys, securely in Pluto hardware, which is built into a device’s processor matrix and is therefore more difficult to access for even attackers. if they have physical possession of a device, ”as explained in an article by David Weston, director of corporate and operating system security at Microsoft. “This design helps ensure that emerging attack techniques cannot access key hardware. “

Lenovo says the Z13 and Z16 will be available in May, starting at $ 1,549 and $ 2,099, respectively.

Microsoft is calling this the “start of Pluto’s journey with the Windows ecosystem,” saying other hardware makers and chip companies are also working to bring Pluto into future products. Intel and Qualcomm were involved in the original Pluto announcement with AMD in 2020.

In other processor news from CES, Microsoft and Qualcomm said they are working together to develop new custom chips for augmented reality glasses.

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