Intel launches Ivy Bridge chip with in-built SMB management features

Intel Ivy Bridge

Intel has launched its Ivy Bridge chipset, which packs a number of enhancements including a built-in management capability for small businesses.

Small Business Advantage is a suite of apps for Windows-based PCs, which will be integrated into Ivy Bridge at the hardware level. It is designed to help firms manage and maintain their PCs, Scott Pendrey, desktop product manager at Intel, told IT Pro during a pre-brief.

"SMB Advantage is self-management tool that will be useful to small business that do not have a dedicated IT department, such as estate agents. The suite will automatically carry out updates and perform other maintenance tasks such as disk defragmentation," he said.

"Another feature includes the USB Blocker functionality that ensures machines are protected. USB ports can be set to block unauthorised devices from being connected to a work PC. Ports can also be configured to only allow certain peripherals to be connected, such as printers or USB sticks."

The suite also boasts an Energy Saver feature, which allows desktops to power on or off automatically when needed. Machines can be set up to switch on 10 minutes before employees get to work so they are up and running, Pendrey continued.

Business users can make use of the Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) functionality, which can be used to stream content - including presentations and larger displays - if they support WiDi.

In terms of raw performance, the biggest improvement Ivy Bridge boasts over the previous Sandy Bridge generation, is in its on-board graphics.

The Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor will provide up to twice the performance of Intel HD Graphics 3000 when performing tasks such as video conversion, Pendrey added.

Because the Intel Ivy Bridge chipset has been manufactured using a 22nm process, this performance gain will be delivered using less power.

Ultrabooks touting the Ivy Bridge chipset are set to go on sale from 5 June, although pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.