Intel Brings vPro to New Core Processors

Intel is adding its vPro platform to the Core i5 and i7 desktop and laptop chips that were introduced in January. The vPro technology lets IT administrators remotely manage and secure desktops and notebooks. Version 2.0 brings in more encryption and anti-theft features.

Intel is bringing its vPro platform to its new Core processors, a move aimed at making it easier for businesses to secure and manage the systems.

Intel announced Feb. 4 that it will put the vPro technology in its 32-nanometer dual-core Core i5 and i7 chips, which the company officially rolled out at the CES show in January.

The technology gives IT administrators a hardware-based way to remotely manage and secure corporate desktops and laptops, using both wired and wireless methods.

vPro also enhances the flexibility of these systems and drives down overall costs, according to Intel officials.

The new vPro-enabled chips come at a time when such applications as video, social networking and IP telephony are putting greater demand on PC performance, according to Rick Echevarria, vice president of Intel's Architecture Group and general manager of its Business Client Platform Division.

"Businesses, particularly those that haven't purchased PCs for several years, face a computing environment that no longer handles the applications many workers and IT are adopting," Echevarria said in a statement.

A host of OEMs, including Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba, are readying corporate PCs based on the vPro Core processors. In addition, solution providers for both enterprises and small and midsize businesses, including Microsoft, Symantec, LANDesk and LogMeIn, are adding support for the technology to their products.

A number of new hardware features come with this vPro platform, including Intel's Anti-Theft Technology Version 2.0. Intel AT is designed to deny access to a PC if it's stolen, a key consideration for laptop users. With Version 2.0, IT administrators can disable access to cryptographic keys to make it even more difficult for thieves to get the data on the systems. In addition, a custom message can be displayed on the screen before the operating system kicks in that can be read by someone trying to access the PC.

Another new feature, KVM Remote Control, gives IT administrators full control of a user's PC-even if the operating system isn't working-and shows the technician exactly what the user sees on the screen.

Intel also added AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) to the vPro hardware, which enables faster encryption and decryption of data. Another security feature, Remote Encryption Management, lets systems administrators more easily remotely manage PCs with encrypted hard drives by enabling them to more securely unlock the drives.