Intel Corp., the largest maker of semiconductor chips, has joined the Smart Card Forum.

The company is one of several that have diversified the multi-industry educational group's membership list. Other high-tech companies such as Cisco Systems, Excite Home Corp., digital-content security specialist Wave Systems Corp., and the French-American authentication systems vendor Activcard have also become principal members.

"Intel is committed to enhancing trusted, connected computing, and we see smart card applications as an integral part of many platform solutions to improve security while managing user privacy," said Lee Hirsch, security and privacy marketing manager in Intel's desktop products group. He said Intel sees forum membership as "an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of smart card technology into PC platforms in all market segments."

The forum has also added as auditing members Authentic8, Baltimore Technologies, Cylink Corp., First Consulting Group, Mobinetix Systems, Mondex Canada, the National Security Agency, and Telecommunications Systems.

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