What is a TPM chip
The TPM is a microcontroller that stores keys, passwords and digital certificates. It's typically affixed to the motherboard of a PC. The nature of this silicon ensures that the information stored there is made more secure from external software attack and physical theft. Security processes, such as digital signature and key exchange, are protected through the secure TCG subsystem.
Access to data and secrets in a platform could be denied if the boot sequence is not as expected. Critical applications and capabilities such as secure email, secure web access and local protection of data are thereby made much more secure. TPM capabilities also can be integrated into other components in a system.
Apple and TPM
If you bought your Mac between May and October of 2006, you most probably have a TPM chip. The chip in question was Infineon TPM, module SLB 9635 TT 1. It looks like Apple had plans to use the trusted platform possibilities, but while the chip was present, Apple did not use it at all. Therefore, computers released after October 2006 do not contain an onboard Infineon TPM. As Trusted Computing Group is seeing an upscale adoption rate of their technology, TPM will most probably be back inside Apple hardware in the future.
Benefits for the users
Amit Singh, author of the "Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach" wrote a whole chapter about trusted computing for Mac OS X. Besides this, he released Mac driver and daemon that will be used later in this article.
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