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Friday, May 27, 2005
Intel Unveils DRM-enabled Pentium D


Intel on Thursday formally introduced two new chipsets designed for home and office PCs. Intel's Professional Business Platform, or the 945G Express Chipset, bundles networking and advanced management technology, while the 945P includes more consumer-oriented features.

Intel 945P
The dual-core 64-bit Intel Pentium D processor powers the 945P platform. Pentium D is the second dual core CPU of Intel following the Pentium Extreme Edition (XE) series. The main difference between the Pentium D and the Extreme Edition (XE) chips is that the first does not support the Hyper-Threading Technology, but allows users to perform two CPU intensive tasks at once. The Intel Pentium D processor has two processing cores - or "brains" - and the Intel 945 Express Chipset family with support for such consumer electronics-like features as surround-sound audio, high-definition video and enhanced graphics capabilities .



With a home network and a PC based on Intel's Pentium D processor and 945 Express Chipset, multiple audio, video or gaming streams can be routed to different people in the home simultaneously.

"Intel's new home and office platforms mark a new era in personal computing that matches the way people are increasingly using their PCs to work, communicate, entertain and play," said Robert Crooke, vice president and general manager, Business Client Group, Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "The new platforms are tailored for specific market segments and provide business and consumer-friendly features."

According to Intel, consumers can enjoy high audio quality on their PC with Intel High Definition Audio that supports up to 7.1 surround-sound and the ability to send multiple audio streams to multiple rooms or devices in the home simultaneously through the PC's output jacks.

With the new Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950, 3-D graphics performance can increase nearly two times over previous generations. It also enables delivery of vivid colors and enriched picture quality on the PC, and support for a number of wide screen displays, including the latest high-definition TV formats such as native 1080i. The Intel GMA 950 provides support for an optional Media Expansion Card to bring TV shows right to the home PC, including capabilities for picture-in-picture to view two TV channels at once, and personal video recorder features to watch, record or pause live TV.

The optional Intel Matrix Storage Technology adds improved support for new RAID 5 and 10 levels to the previously supported RAID 0 and 1.

DRM - enabled !
Intel Pentium D series comes DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case. This issue was "quitely" passed by Intel but it is possibly the most important feature of the new chipset. Intel steered clear of mentioning the new DRM technology.

Intel officialls have not yet given technical details of how embedded DRM would work saying it was not in the interests of his company to spell out how the technology in the interests of security.



Intel 945G
Intel's Professional Business Platform is based on the new Intel 945G Express Chipset and the optional Intel PRO/1000 PM network adapter, and the recently introduced Intel Pentium 4 670, a new 3.8-GHz 64-bit processor with Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology. Several systems manufacturers will also offer dual-core processor based PCs for businesses in addition to these offerings that are part of Intel's Stable Image Platform Program. The Professional Business Platform combines the company's security, management and collaboration technologies, and packages them together at mainstream price points. The enhancements include the introduction of Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), which will help enable IT managers to monitor, install security patches or diagnose problems for all Intel AMT-enabled PCs on their networks even if they are turned off or have a failed hard drive or operating system.

The Intel Professional Business Platform is part of the Intel Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP), a program Intel introduced two years ago in which the hardware and driver image of the platform will not change for at least 12 months from the start date of the program. This program benefits IT managers because it can help reduce the number of PC configurations they have to manage and validate, with the potential to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of maintaining their desktop systems and the need to deploy new applications or security patches.

Intel's Professional Business Platform also evokes improved models for the way people work together. The combination of such technologies as Intel GMA 950, Intel High Definition Audio and HT Technology opens the door to high-quality video, voice calling over the Internet (VoIP) and improved online collaboration applications that can make geographic differences more transparent. The Intel GMA 950 graphics engine is also targeted to support the graphics capabilities in Microsoft Corporation's next-generation of the Windows operating system, codenamed "Longhorn."

Both of Intel's new platforms for the home and office come with additional features including Dual-Channel DDR2 at 667 MHz for higher speed memory and thus potentially faster PC performance, Intel SpeedStep Technology, which can help enable quieter and more energy-efficient systems, the Execute Disable Bit security feature that can help reduce the effects of some ?buffer overflow attacks? when working with certain new operating systems, and Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology to enable larger amounts of memory addressability for software that needs it.

Pricing and Availability
The new Pentium D will be available in three speeds: 2.8 GHz (820), 3 GHz (830) and 3.2 GHz (840). Pricing for the chips will be less than half of AMD's dual-core offerings, at $241, $316 and $530 USD respectively, in 1,000-unit lots. The single-core Pentium 4 670 at 3.8 GHz is priced at $851 USD. The Intel 945G and 945P Express Chipsets are priced at $42 and $38, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.


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