Intel demonstrates AMT for notebooks

Scottsdale (AZ) - Intel's Mobility Group VP, Mooly Eden, came to the Mobile and Wireless World Conference to bring IT managers up to speed on Intel's Yonah processor, but also showed the firm's Active Management Technology (AMT) that promises to become a "virtual IT department" on a chip.

Intel is building up traction for its first dual-core mobile processor. Codenamed "Yonah", the chip is scheduled to hit the market in the first quarter of next year. No big surprise that Mooly Eden spent time once again to explain the benefits of the processor - ranging from performance to battery saving features.

Eden however surprised with one of the first public demonstrations of Intel's AMT. So far we had heard about this feature just in presentations and saw screenshots. This time, Intel showed a live system in action.

AMT, wholly integrated in silicon, basically gives IT managers remote out of band access to laptops and desktop to enable repairs on such devices. Out of band access bypasses the computer's operating system and other loaded software and therefore reaches computers that otherwise would be unreachable. As long as a computer's hardware is functional, IT staff can access the computer on a network and fix software related problems - even when a damaged device is turned off.

Eden and a colleague demonstrated AMT using two networked laptops - one representing the end users' computer and the other on an IT management console. The end user computer had been put out of commission by a virus that attacked its operating system. The machine was essentially frozen from an operating system point of view and OS supported networking was not functioning.

AMT connected to the wounded laptop using AMT and allowed control of the laptop using an out of band console, fixed the virus problem and rebooted the laptop back to full operability. Eden then noted that AMT went a step further. Once it is clear how a problem can be prevented or fixed, IT staff can automatically send out the necessary code to other vulnerable computers and then force the computers to run the code.

Active Management Technology is scheduled to be introduced across later this year in processors such as the Xeon- and Pentium 4 600-series.