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Chip Can Stop PC Viruses, But Cost is a Hurdle

Researchers in Japan have developed a microchip that blocks computer viruses before they enter PCs, an advance that could change how security software is used. Chips in routers can stop viruses without slowing down programmes running on computers the way security software does, according to researcher Eiichi Takahashi at the government-funded National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. But the chips need to be rewritable so they can be updated with online information about new viruses, and that creates a problem, because rewritable chips now can recognise only a few hundred viruses each.

This makes an effective anti-virus chip system prohibitively expensive, while open source software recognises roughly 70,000 viruses, Takahashi said. "To translate the technology into profits, you would need global sales channels to cut prices and make the technology affordable for consumers," Nikko Citigroup analyst Kengo Nagahashi said. The technology poses no threat to security software companies Trend Micro Inc. or Symantec Corp., he said.

News source: CRN / Reuters

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