Intel Lays Out Enterprise Plans

The chip maker promises chips with better management and virtualization capabilities.

SAN FRANCISCO—Intel is preparing to bring a series of new innovation to the enterprise.

At the 2007 Intel Developer Forum here Sept. 18, Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intels Digital Enterprise Group, took audience members through a number of different technologies the company plans to introduce during the next year.

One of the highlights included the announcements that Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., would join several other major vendors to form the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to create more advanced versions of the connection technology. In addition to Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments are all part of the new group.

The groups goal is to promote USB 3.0 technology, which looks to offer 10 times the I/O bandwidth of USB 2.0 as well as backwards compatibility. The USB 3.0 I/O interface will also support optical and copper interconnects and greater energy efficiency.

Besides the new group, Gelsinger talked about the companys efforts to expand its vPro technology, a bundle of chips and other hardware technology that looks to make managing and securing a large fleet of corporate PCs easier. The latest version of vPro for desktops debuted in August and Gelsinger sketched out Intels future plans for the platform.


Click here to read about CEO Paul Otellinis keynote at IDF.

The new vPro platform—"McCreary"—will hit the market in 2008 and include both dual- and quad-core processors from Intels new family of Penryn 45-nanometer chips, and a new chip set called "Eaglelake." In keeping with some of the other companys green initiatives, the new processors look to be both lead- and halogen-free.

The new platform will include an integrated Trusted Platform Module and new data encryption technology—"Danbury"—that will be built directly onto the hardware itself.

Gelsinger also delved into some additional details about Nehalem, Intels next-generation processor architecture that will be built on the 45-nm process. In his opening keynote, CEO Paul Otellini told the audience about some of the benefits he saw with the Nehalem architecture and Gelsinger said the architecture should arrive in a working form by 2008. Later, the company will use that same Nehalem architecture when it introduces chips built on its 32-nm manufacturing process in 2009.

The most significant announcement Intel made about the architecture was its QuickPath Interconnect system architecture, which includes an integrated memory controller. Although Intel has tried developing chips with an integrated memory controller in the past, rival Advanced Micro Devices has used one since the advent of its Opteron processor in 2003.


Click here to read more about Intels new 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller.

Gelsinger also spent some of his keynote discussing the companys plans to build more virtualization capabilities into its chips. The talk was similar to the one he gave at the 2007 VMworld conference earlier this month.

John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun Microsystems Systems Group, also spoke about his companys relationship with Intel and how the two are looking to add virtualization capabilities to both Suns servers as well as its Solaris operating system.

In addition, Fowler said Sun, also of Santa Clara, would soon debut several new systems based on Intel architecture. The two companies agreed to a new partnership earlier this year after years of not cooperating.


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