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Intel Corp.’s president Paul Otellini recently confirmed the company’s plans to bring the security and virtualization capabilities of platforms code-named LaGrande and Vanderpool in 2006, in-line with previous expectations. Both capabilities are likely to advance computers by a significant margin, as both ignite new usage models.

Lyndon, Bridge Creek, Averill – New Platforms from Intel

Adding of security and virtualization capabilities will be performed in the course of Intel’s forthcoming platform enhancements. In 2005 Intel plans to advance personal computing – now called digital home and office – platforms with dual-core Smithfield processors with 2MB cache, Enhanced Intel Speed Step (EIST), EM64T and iAMT features. A year later – in 2006 – Intel’s follow-up platforms will get Vanderpool, LaGrande technologies, next-generation iAMT and next-generation dual-core processor produced using 65nm process technology. Currently Intel refers its ‘05 digital home and office platform as Lyndon, while ‘06 platforms are called Bridge Creek and Averill.

Intel usually does not indicate any core-clocks, frequencies or performance levels of its future products. Besides, Intel also did not confirm whether it plans to sell packages of its desktop components under single brand, like it does with notebook hardware branded Intel Centrino.

Vanderpool and LaGrande – Corner Stones of Next-Generation Computing

Intel has been discussing its plans to enable extended security features code-named LaGrande for years now. Previously it was anticipated that the technique was to be implemented into the currently shipping 90nm processors, such as Intel Pentium 4 “Prescott”, however, Intel officially did not confirm this during the launch of the chip.

Beside security capabilities, the Santa Clara, California-based Intel has also been planning to enable advanced parallelism for personal computers in order to increase reliability and add new usage models for end-users. Vanderpool is a hardware tech that splits system into several virtual parts that work independently and use the same resources of the PC. Servers’ central processing units and platforms are also likely to get a virtualization tech: Intel calls it Silvervale, but does not reveal any differences compared to Vanderpool.

Besides innovative Vanderpool and LaGrande technologies, Intel will also add certain features that are likely to be required by numerous professional systems – iAMT, a remote system management capability, and EM64T, 64-bit capability that enables  more than 4GB of memory and boosts performance in certain applications.

Microsoft Longhorn – The Catalyst of the Next Computing Era

While all the technologies that are currently discussed are supported by hardware, the potential of revamped capabilities is only likely to be exposed when using Microsoft’s forthcoming Longhorn operating system.

Particularly Vanderpool and LaGrande, just like competing technologies from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel Corp.’s main rival, code-named Presidio and Silvervale, will require support by operating system and are unlikely to be fully functional when running on current generation of OSes.

Microsoft Longhorn is currently anticipated to blend the whole system’s feature-set, as not only processors and chipsets should support advantages like virtualization, but also graphics cards, hard disk drives, I/O controllers and other hardware is likely to require support for certain functionality to take advantage of the Longhorn.

Currently Microsoft Longhorn is expected for release during 2006 – 2007 timeframe.

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