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Intel Introduces 11th Gen vPro Processors

Intel says the business-ready mobile chips, which are part of the 10nm Tiger Lake family launched last September, deliver nearly 20% better overall app performance and 35% better videoconferencing performance, plus enhanced hardware-level security. By Rich Freeman

Intel has officially unveiled the 11th Gen Intel vPro platform, a new collection of made-for-business processors designed to provide improved performance and security.

Part of the 10nm Tiger Lake family of mobile PC chips launched last September, they debuted on the opening day of the virtual CES 2021 conference.

According to Intel, the platform delivers a nearly 20% overall application performance improvement. It’s also the first vPro release to feature the company’s Iris Xe graphics and Deep Learning Boost technology, resulting in eight times better artificial intelligence performance versus vPro’s prior generation and 2.3 times faster speeds on video editing tasks.

11th Gen vPro processors deliver a 35% improvement in videoconference performance as well, Intel says, thanks to embedded features like Gaussian and Neural Accelerator (GNA) 2.0 neural noise cancelation technology and the IPU6 display architecture, which enables better image quality and lighting.

“When you’re on video calls all day, this really adds up to significant productivity improvements,” says Stephanie Hallford, vice president and general manager of business client platforms in Intel’s Client Computing Group.

Support for Wi-Fi 6E in the platform, Intel says, enables nearly six times faster uploads and downloads in office settings, and nearly three times faster at home.

An upgraded implementation of vPro’s Hardware Shield component is designed to provide better protection against threats like memory safety-related attacks, which according to Intel account for more than half of disclosed processor security vulnerabilities. Such features are especially relevant in the coronavirus era as more and more users connect with cloud solutions from home PCs and networks, according to Michael Nordquist, senior director of strategic planning and architecture for business client platforms at Intel.

“Ultimately, we want to increase the security across every device, including in remote environments, and to do this we’re building a security architecture with simpler ways to verify the trustworthiness of devices,” he says.

Showcased alongside the 11th Gen vPro platform this week is the Intel Evo vPro platform for business-grade thin and light laptops. According to Intel, Evo vPro provides more than 9 hours of battery life in typical use cases on laptops with Full HD displays and four hours of battery life after 30 minutes of charging, and can wake laptops from sleep in less than one second.

Many notebooks introduced at CES this year, including models announced by Dell last week and Lenovo today, feature Evo vPro CPUs.

“In total, we are introducing more than 60 new high-performance vPro and Evo vPro laptops this year, scaling from Core i5 and Core i7 from our top OEMs,” Hallford says.

Last October, in a report on its third fiscal quarter financial results, Intel said that major PC makers had over 150 Tiger Lake-based designs in development, including 100 set to ship by the end of 2020. More than 40 of those, the company added, would be verified under the Intel Evo platform brand.

In addition to new vPro processors, Intel’s launched the all-new unified partner program it’s been constructing the last three years today as well.

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