On Thursday, 29th June 2023, the first Confidential Computing Summit was held at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. Organized by Opaque Systems and the Confidential Computing Consortium, it comprised 38 sessions delivered by 44 speakers and panelists, with 244 attendees – over twice the expected number. Although initially planned as a single track event, the number of responses to the Call for Papers was so large that the agenda was split into three tracks, with keynotes starting and ending the event.
Sessions covered a broad range of topics, from state of the industry and outlook, to deep-dive technical discussions. One of the key themes of the Summit, however, was the application of Confidential Computing to real-life use cases, with presentations by end users as well as suppliers of Confidential Computing technologies. The relevance of Confidential Computing to AI was a recurring topic as data and model privacy is emerging as a major concern for many users, particularly those with requirements to share data with untrusted parties whether partners or even competitors for multi-party collaboration. Other use cases included private messaging, anti-money laundering, Edge computing, regulatory compliance, Big Data, examination security and data sovereignty. Use cases for Confidential Computing ranged across multiple sectors, including telecommunications, banking, insurance, healthcare and AdTech. Sessions ranged from high-level commercial use case discussions to low-level technical considerations.
There was an exhibitor hall which doubled as meeting space and included booths from the CCC and Opaque Systems plus the Summit’s premier sponsors (Microsoft, Intel, VMware, Arm, Anjuna, Fortanix, Edgeless Systems, Cosmian). The venue also had sufficient space (and seating with branded cushions!) for a busy “hallway track”. For many attendees, the ability to meet other industry professionals in person for the first time was as valuable a reason to attend the Summit as the session – while virtual conferences can have value, the conversations held face-to-face at the conference provided opportunities for networking that would have been impossible without real-world interactions.
The Confidential Computing Consortium would like to thank Opaque Systems and the program committee for their hard work in organizing this event. Given the success of the Summit, plans are already underway for a larger instance next year. Please keep an eye on this blog and other news outlets for information. We look forward to seeing you there!