Intel's faster 10th-gen vPro processors batten down the hatches of business PCs

Intel's launch follows AMD's introduction of Ryzen Pro processors

After previously revealing its 10th-gen Core processors for consumers, Intel has now announced the same 10th-gen processors with vPro enabled for business computers.

Intel announced nine mobile 10th-gen Core processors with vPro as well as an additional eighteen Core and Xeon processors for the desktop, based on its “Comet Lake” architecture. Intel’s touting new expanded Hardware Shield features for this generation, which include the capability to lock down mission-critical elements in the PC’s BIOS in case of an attack.

Intel’s vPro launch follows the announcement of the latest Ryzen Pro series of processors, rival AMD’s offerings for corporate desktops. AMD announced three Ryzen Pro chips, emphasising memory encryption as a key security feature. Intel, as it has before, promoted a platform-friendly strategy that emphasised its fresh security features plus its wide variety of processor choice.

Intel’s new expanded Hardware Shield includes two key additions, according to Stephanie Hallford, general manager and vice president of business platforms at Intel.

First, it offers BIOS-level protections. If there’s an attack on the operating system, Hardware Shield will step in and lock down mission-critical information in the underlying BIOS that directly controls the hardware.

Second, if an attack does occur, vPro will shift some functions on to the GPU, allowing the CPU to “continue to the mission-critical work it’s supposed to do,” Hallford said. Intel’s Endpoint Management Assistant will help out with remote manageability for employees.

A diagram of the 400-series chipset that will accompany Intel’s U-series vPro processorsCredit: Intel
A diagram of the 400-series chipset that will accompany Intel’s U-series vPro processors

Intel said that the new vPro chips are 40 per cent faster in application performance versus a three-year-old laptop, and 36 per cent faster in office productivity apps versus that same laptop. Compared to a five-year-old laptop, Intel’s new vPro chips can analyse and visualise data 44 per cent faster.

Here are Intel’s new mobile vPro chips.

Credit: Intel

Intel’s desktop chips, meanwhile, are made up of both Intel Core chips as well as some Xeon parts.

Credit: Intel

The new chips are paired with Intel’s 400-series chipsets, which offer Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) for improved Wi-Fi connection rates, executives said. Intel didn’t say when the new vPro chips would ship, or how many systems would use them.