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Intel unveils latest high-security vPro processor platform

05 February 2010

Intel has finally unveiled its long-awaited update to the vPro processor platform, adding a variety of security and advanced management services for company PC users.

Central to the management and security options of the new vPro family – Intel's fourth iteration of the processor platform – is the inclusion of an anti-theft technology that allows IT staff, as well as savvy end users, to lock down a lost or stolen computer.

The system will also remotely disable access to on-board cryptographic keys, so locking down data access to any hard drives installed on the PC in question, even if thieves remove the drive(s) and install them on new machines.

The new vPro range is based on Intel's Q57 Express chipset, the 82577LM Gigabit network connection for notebooks and the 82578DM network connection for desktop PCs.

According to Rick Echevarria, Intel's vice-president, the new architecture allows support staff to include a message for anyone finding the locked-down computer, perhaps offering them a reward.

The most important aspect of the lockdown technology, Infosecurity notes, is that it not data destructive or `data wiping' like some earlier remote security systems, meaning that, if recovered, the computer can easily be restored to its normal function.

Another interesting feature of the vPro technology is the inclusion of Intel's Keyboard-Video-Mouse Remote Control (KVM Remote Control) on the dual-core i5 and i7 vPro processor series.

This techology allows IT staff direct access to the entire feature set of a PC remotely, creating an on-chip dashboard, for remote system, diagnostics and updates.

Intel also said the new chips will allow a standard business notebook to encrypt important files up to 350% faster, and run applications up to 80% faster than a 3-year-old mainstream notebook computer.

Several vendors have announced already plans to support the latest Intel vPro technology, including Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and Panasonic, as well as IT security companies as Absolute Software, PGP, Phoenix and WinMagic.



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