Intel has officially launched its Core vPro client business platform, updated for 2010 with new enterprise features such as hardware support for remote control, better security and manageability and Intel's usual claim of better performance for today's business applications.
Core vPro, the fourth generation of Intel's vPro platform, builds on the existing technology, adding new capabilities and blending these with its new Core i5 and Core i7 processors unveiled at the consumer-focused CES in January.
New systems based on the platform are set to be available almost immediately from vendors including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Fujitsu, according to Intel.
Among the key features of Core vPro is hardware support for remote keyboard video and mouse control of a client system, so that IT staff can take control of a problem desktop or laptop even if the computer has blue-screened, the power is off, or the operating system will not boot.
This feature works only with Intel's newest Core chips that have graphics functions integrated into the processor, the company said.
The new platform also includes Intel's Anti-Theft technology that lets an administrator disable a stolen laptop remotely, or set rules so that it will delete the keys for an encrypted hard drive to secure data, but restore access if the laptop is later recovered.
Improved management capabilities allow IT administrators to apply upgrades, patches and updates at any time, without inconveniencing the user, Intel claimed. Laptops can also be configured to wake up at a pre-scheduled maintenance time and initiate a connection to the IT console from outside the firewall.
Rick Echevarria, general manager of Intel's Business Client Platform division, explained that the time is right to introduce a new platform, as businesses are now looking to invest again after having put their client refresh cycle on hold during the downturn.
"It's also a new compute environment, with businesses putting greater emphasis on performance for greater multi-tasking, better media and greater mobility at the same time," he said.
Intel claims a boost in business productivity from the new system, which delivers an increase in performance of 80 to 100 per cent over Intel's existing business systems, Echevarria said.
The new Core i5 and Core i7 processors also have special AES-NI instructions to accelerate processing of the AES encryption algorithm, plus Intel's Turbo Boost technology that lets processor cores ramp up their clock speed to meet demanding workloads, provided thermal and electrical constraints allow this.
As part of the Core vPro launch, Intel unveiled new Wi-Fi adapters for laptops. The Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 and Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 802.11n offer advanced multi-stream capabilities and speeds up to 450Mbit/s, the company said.
The new platform is not just aimed at large enterprises, according to Intel, as the remote capabilities of Core vPro will enable small businesses to outsource management to service providers for a fee.
"By moving vPro into the mainstream, our 2010 platform is the best choice for businesses small or large," said Echevarria.
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