vPro gets better security, lower power

— 9:13 AM on August 27, 2007

Almost a year and a half has passed since the launch of Intel's vPro platform, and the company has just refreshed the platform with some new hardware, as well as security and power saving features. Code-named "Weybridge," the new vPro platform is built around three of Intel's new Core 2 Duo processors: the 2.33GHz E6550 model, the 2.66GHz E6750, and the 3GHz E6850.The platform also includes Intel's Q35 Express chipset, ICH9-DO south bridge, and 82566DM Gigabit Ethernet controller.

All this shiny new hardware brings several security enhancements. Those include Trusted Execution Technology and Virtualization Technology for Direct I/O, which Intel says both work to "isolate and protect virtualized software from difficult-to-detect rootkit or 'hyper-jack' attacks." Also included in the new vPro platform are System Defense filters, which screen outbound data packets and log information about them in order to help spot "malicious patterns" on networks.

Intel boasts that its new Core 2 Duo processors have the same 65W maximum rated power consumption as their predecessors, but that their idle power consumption is just 8W—down from 22W for chips in old vPro systems.  Meanwhile, the Q35 Express chipset has max and idle power ratings of 13W and 5.5W, respectively—a substantial step down from the 31W/13W ratings for the old 965-series vPro chipsets.

Intel expects its new vPro platform will be "among the first" to support next-generation management technologies like the Distributed Management Task Force's DASH 1.0 draft interoperability spec and Web Services Management. Intel and AMD are both members of the Distributed Management Task Force, and AMD also intends to implement support for the DASH standard.

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