Intel has unveiled its second-generation Core vPro platform for businesses, promising the usual enhancements in performance, security and manageability, but with a new focus on keeping the PC relevant in the age of mobile devices and cloud computing.
The updated Core vPro processor family brings the performance of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture to business desktops and laptops, with new systems based on Core i5 and Core i7 chips promised from Dell, HP, Fujitsu and Lenovo within a few weeks.
In performance terms, a new Core i5 chip is able to outpace a three-year old Core 2 Duo by 60 per cent on applications processing, 100 per cent on multi-tasking, and 300 per cent on encryption, according to Intel's claims.
New features include Anti-Theft Technology 3.0, which now allows a laptop to be disabled by sending a 'kill pill' via SMS or the internet, and which also includes standby protection to prevent a thief bypassing log-in security if a laptop is stolen while in standby mode.
Identity Protection Technology can generate six-digit numerical passwords, providing built-in support for two-factor authentication and removing the need for users to carry tokens.
For IT departments, the new platform introduces Host-Based Configuration, which automates configuration of vPro features, allowing thousands of PCs to be configured simultaneously from the management console or by generating an XML file that can be distributed by email. This feature is being back-ported to the 2010 Core vPro platform, Intel said.
The KVM Remote Control feature also now supports high-definition screen resolutions, and Intel said that vPro includes the ability to remotely unlock encrypted laptop hard drives, a vital feature when IT staff have to deliver help and assistance to mobile workers on the road.
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