Industry trade group The Liberty Alliance Project is adding computer chip maker Intel to its list of members.
Intel will be added to the management board for the group, which develops and promotes open standards management of user identities on computer networks.
The management board is the highest level in the Liberty Alliance organisation and is responsible for overall governance of the group, including legal and financial operations. Management board members also get final voting authority for all Liberty-sponsored specifications.
Intel's decision to join the group signals wide market support for Liberty's approach to federated identity.
"It's something we're pleased to see. We regard it as a good thing for the health of the alliance to attract leaders in their space, and Intel is certainly that," said Michael Barrett, president of the Liberty Alliance.
Barrett acknowledged that the prospect of a hardware company like Intel joining a software standards group might strike some as odd. However, Intel employs many software developers who write code that ends up in firmware and on silicon and uses web services internally, he said.
"Its entirely reasonable for a hardware manufacturer to look at [the Liberty Alliance] protocols to enable their business."
Intel will be represented on the Liberty Alliance Management Board by George Goodman, director of system software for Intel's corporate technology group.
Other management board members include VeriSign, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service