SAN FRANCISCO - Intel has unveiled its new vPro chip technology aimed at making business personal computers more secure, as the world's largest chipmaker seeks to solidify its brand.
vPro is a collection of a Core 2 Duo processor, chipset and other elements that together the company calls a platform. Intel's first platform technology was Centrino, which it announced in 2003.
Since then, under Chief Executive Paul Otellini, the company has moved from selling and branding discrete processors and chipsets to selling them together as related technologies, or platforms, in a bid to sell more chips overall.
"As Intel has platformised its brands, it now wants to sell coordinated silicon sets," said Roger Kay, principal at Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Intel really wants to sell more silicon."
The advances in the vPro platform include allowing information technology managers to turn on and turn off a desktop personal computer connected to a company network, even if the hard drive has failed or the operating system has been corrupted.
vPro could also help companies cut costs by allowing for securely turning potentially thousands of PCs on a network remotely that need to receive a software patch, for example, Santa Clara, California-based Intel said, preventing the need for workers to visit each desk physically.
Security features part of vPro also allow for increased protection against software-based attacks on computers on a network and also filter and can defend against virus and other threats, Intel said.
"Attacks are not about notoriety anymore. It's not about the 16-year-old kid who can't get a date," said Robert Crook, an Intel executive who heads up Intel's business client group. "It's about stealthy people motivated by monetary gains."
The remote management capabilities, such as repairing a computer with a damaged hard drive, also work on wireless notebooks equipped with Centrino Pro technology, Intel said.
Desktops and notebooks using Intel vPro and Centrino Pro are being sold by computer makers including Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, among others.
"Essentially the word 'Pro' now shows up in both the notebooks and the desktops to tell you this is a commercial brand," Kay said.