Intel vPro technology is an umbrella marketing term used by Intel for a large collection of computer hardware technologies and includes the likes of Turbo Boost 3.0, Hyperthreading, VT-x, VT-d, Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), and Intel Active Management Technology (AMT). Back in 2007 when it was launched, it was identified primarily with AMT, thus some journalists still consider AMT to be the essence of vPro.
PCs that support vPro have a vPro-enabled chipset, processor, and BIOS as their main elements. A vPro PC has the following features:
It has multi-core and multi-threaded Xeon or Core processors.
It incorporates Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) which is a set of hardware-based features targeted at businesses. It allows remote access to the PC for management and security tasks when an OS is down or PC power is off.
It comes with wired and wireless (laptop) network connection.
Another Intel technology that vPro incorporates is Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT), which verifies a launch environment and establishes the root of trust. In turn, it allows the software to build a chain of trust for virtualized environments. Intel TXT also protects secrets during power transitions for both orderly and disorderly shutdowns.
Intel vPro provides the support for IEEE 802.1X, Cisco Self Defending Network (SDN), and Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) in laptops. It also provides support for 802.1x and Cisco SDN in desktop PCs. Owing to the support for these security technologies, Intel vPro can store the security posture of a PC so that the network can authenticate the system before the OS and applications load, and before the PC is allowed access to the network.
It comes with Intel Virtualization Technology which includes the likes of Intel VT-x for CPU and memory and Intel VT-d for I/O to support virtualized environments. Intel VT-x accelerates hardware virtualization which enables isolated memory regions to be created for running critical applications in hardware virtual machines in order to enhance the integrity of the running application and the confidentiality of sensitive data. Intel VT-d exposes protected virtual memory address spaces to DMA peripherals attached to the computer via DMA buses, mitigating the threat posed by malicious peripherals.
Intel vPro provides support for Microsoft Windows Vista, including Microsoft Windows Vista BitLocker. It comes with the Trusted Platform Module version 1.2 and Intel graphics support for Windows Vista Aero graphical user interface.