Laptops powered by AMD hardware are getting an extra level of protection thanks to a new security chip from Microsoft.
First revealed in November 2021, Microsoft Pluton is designed to bring Xbox-level security to Windows PCs, offering physical protections against attacks. As an extension of Microsoft’s Trusted Platform Module programme, the hardware needs to be built in, which is why we’re only now seeing the benefits.
The rollout has now begun, starting with the new AMD Ryzen 6000 series unveiled at CES 2022.
AMD security boost
Microsoft developed Pluton alongside Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, marking a unified effort to help secure PCs going forward.
“Our vision for the future of Windows PCs is security at the very core, built into the CPU, where hardware and software are tightly integrated in a unified approach designed to eliminate entire vectors of attack,” Microsoft said.
Security has often proved a weakness for Windows PCs, mostly because of their sheer popularity. Mac and Linux have been protected by having very low levels of market share. But that brings greater responsibility for Microsoft and Pluton is one answer.
While anyone who buys a PC with a Ryzen 6000 inside gets the protection, the first actual laptops come from Lenovo, in the form of the ThinkPad Z13 and Z16. As time goes on, more and more OEMs will include Pluton.
In some ways, the most surprising news is that AMD beat Intel and Qualcomm to the punch with integrating Pluton into a chipset.