Intel's LGrande Debuts At IDF

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Intel's plan to integrate security technology into its computer chips has been met with mostly positive comments from solution providers.

The new technology, code-named LaGrande, was unveiled by Intel President and COO Paul Otellini at the Intel Developer Forum, held last week in San Jose, Calif.

"If we are going to enable convergence, if we are going to enable the promise of e-business, we need to have a more secure environment," he said. "Hardware-based strengthening to this is critical."

Intel's Paul Otellini says convergence depends on a more secure environment.

LaGrande will work with a new set of security features planned for the next version of Windows, code-named Palladium, and open standards such as the Trusted Computing Module and Public Key Infrastructure, Intel executives said.

LaGrande technology is expected to be available in CPUs and chipsets sometime next year.

Solution providers said better computer security can't come soon enough.

"It's fantastic," said Ross Harris, senior sales manager at Worldnet Computers, a white-box manufacturer in Aliso Viejo, Calif. New HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards and other concerns have prompted customers to request hardware-based encryption products, he said.

Jim Kelton, president of SoftwareUnlimited, Irvine, Calif., said LaGrande is a good plan, but software updates still will be necessary to keep systems completely secure from viruses. "A subscription service that regularly provides security updates, much like the antivirus updates, is the most practical solution," he said.

LaGrande and antivirus software probably will work together, said Marc Varady, marketing manager for platform security at Intel.

MARCIA SAVAGE contributed to this story.

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