Intel touts “Ivy Bridge” processors for SMEs

By Alexander Villafania

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA—Intel was going back to addressing a largely untapped but very huge sector: the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with its third-generation of “Ivy Bridge” Core I processors, an upgrade to the Sandy Bridge model.

While Intel still tries to sell Ivy Bridge with the original flare of “clock speeds and graphics” the company did pursue more of selling the business benefits of the new processor line.

Most graphics-intensive applications had little benefit from Sandy Bridge’s integrated graphics but it was a boon for businesses that had low graphics requirement.

During the Manila launch of the Ivy Bridge processor line, Leighton Phillips, Intel Asia Pacific director for product management pricing, underscored new features that were targeted to businesses.

Advantages of the new processor line include the enhanced Intel HD Graphics 4000, which was twice more powerful than the previous integrated graphics in Sandy Bridge.

From an SME perspective, the faster graphics means you could run full high definition (1080p) videos. Or maybe run Facebook games a lot faster during employee breaks.

Intel also packed unique security features into the processors, such as the Intel Secure Key and Intel OS Guard that help safeguard data.

Both features add up to existing features from the Sandy Bridge line, particularly the Identity Protection Technology (IP), and the Anti-Theft Technology (AT).

Secure Key is a digital random number generator between websites and the computer accessing it. This hardware-bound encryption algorithm communicates with the website server and gets the computer to “lock in” to the site, preventing attempts of snooping at the user.

A business owner benefits from this especially if they communicate with other machines within their network, both locally or remotely.

The OS Guard adds a layer of protection on the PC’s installed operating system (OS). This means the OS Guard has been enhanced for the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 line.

With the OS Guard, the new processor can prevent multiple users from illegally installing any storage media, particularly USB drives, unless  previously allowed by the PC’s owners.

Given that most SMEs do not buy security applications, thenew security features offer a considerable amount of protection.

Intel Microelectronics Philippines Country Manager Ricky Banaag said that the new Ivy Bridge processors were specifically enhanced for SMEs.

Apart from the relatively low price point (Ivy Bridge processors are comparatively cheaper than previous generation Sandy Bridge), laptop manufacturers can make specific builds that would target business needs.

For example, they can create business desktop PCs with enhanced security features or come out with small form notebooks targeted at the mobile workforce.

“We’ve made sure that Ivy Bridge would address business needs,” Banaag said.


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