10 September 2002

Nothing on Intel's web site about this. Information and/or specs welcomed; send to: jya@pipeline.com

A Wall Street Journal report (below) notes, "One benefit is what Intel calls a 'secure boot,' which means that the basic instructions used when starting a computer can't be modified for improper purposes." Intel patented "Secure Boot" in 1999 which may be related:

United States Patent 5,937,063

Davis, August 10, 1999

Secure boot


A subsystem prevents unauthorized replacement of boot-up firmware (e.g., BIOS) embedded in modifiable non-volatile memory devices such as flash memory. The firmware device is contained in a secure boot device which is responsive to the host processor. The security protection is established by the encryption and decryption of the boot-up instructions using a secret key shared by both the secure boot device and the host processor.

Inventors: Davis; Derek L. (Phoenix, AZ)
Assignee: Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA)
Appl. No.: 722298
Filed: September 30, 1996

Note: Derek Davis is also co-inventor of Intel's patented anonymity server.

Associated Press, September 9, 2002

Intel Announces Computer Security Chip


Filed at 7:15 p.m. ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- In the latest attempt to protect digital information from viruses and hackers, Intel Corp. will integrate advanced security features into its microprocessors and other hardware.

The security features, announced Monday at the Intel's conference for developers, will be implemented in processors as early as next year, said Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief operating officer.

Code-named LaGrande Technology, the features will create a ``vault'' in which data is safely stored and processed. Intel also will secure the pathways within the computer, such as between the vault and the display or keyboard.

``It's a new level of safer computing,'' Otellini said during a keynote address.

The company did not release many details about LaGrande but said it will work in conjunction with other hardware and software-based security efforts such as Microsoft Corp.'s Palladium.

Such technologies will not only keep hackers and viruses from infiltrating data stored or being processed on a computer but also could lock music or video files onto a particular computer, preventing unauthorized sharing.

In other developments at the conference, Intel said it will soon start selling Pentium 4 processors with a new technology that effectively tricks software into thinking it is running on two processors instead of one.

The technology, called ``hyper-threading,'' is already in production in processors used in servers. Otellini said it will be included in Pentium 4s running at 3 gigahertz by the end of the year.

Intel also said it will continue to boost the speed of its processors. During one demonstration, a Pentium 4 set a new speed record -- 4.7 GHz.

Shares of Intel closed 14 cents lower, to $16.08, in Monday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.


On the Net:

Intel: http://www.intel.com

Reuters, September 9, 2002

Intel Unveils New Technology as PC Sales Drag

September 09, 2002 09:24 PM ET

By Duncan Martell

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - Intel Corp. on Monday launched new technologies designed to boost the performance of its Pentium microprocessors and outlined security technology that will be built into its chips even as a top executive said U.S. personal computer sales remained depressed.

Intel executives also said it was too early to weigh in on the strength of the crucial holiday-sales season for the PC industry, even as market researcher International Data Corp. cut its forecast for worldwide PC sales growth in 2002 to 1.1 percent from 4.7 percent, and forecast that the holiday season would be about flat with last year.

"I'm not going to go out on a limb about holiday sales because there are so many unknowns out there," Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief operating officer, told reporters at a briefing here in advance of a speech at the company's Intel Developer Forum.

Last week, Intel, which has held true to its mantra to continue investing during hard times, tightened its revenue forecast for the third quarter to $6.3 billion to $6.7 billion from an initial estimate of $6.3 billion to $6.9 billion, noting that sales would be "slightly below the mid-point" of the previous range. Spending on research and development remained unchanged at $4.0 billion this year.

"The U.S. market is still suffering from a number of concerns," Otellini said on Monday. It's "not just do I need a new computer, (it's) do I have a job, what's happening with the anniversary of Sept. 11, (and) what's happening in the stock market?"


At its twice-yearly gathering in the United States for hardware and software engineers, the world's largest chipmaker announced that "hyper-threading" technology would be incorporated into its Pentium 4 chip running at 3.0 gigahertz, or 3 billion clicks per second, in the fourth quarter, ahead of its own schedule.

That marks the first time the technology, which made its debut in server processors earlier this year, has appeared in processors for desktop computers, Intel said. Hyper-threading makes one processor appear as two to operating systems and software that have been written to support the technology.

Hyper-threading, which Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system supports, promises to boost the performance of the chip by 25 percent, depending on the application, Intel said.

Otellini also discussed Intel's digital security initiative dubbed LaGrande Technology, saying it would allow for greater security than now possible through software. For instance, it would allow computers to boot up securely, preventing a virus on the PC's hard drive from becoming active, Intel said.

"Hardware and software combined is not perfect, but it's as close as we can get (to) there today," Otellini said of LaGrande, which will be built in to its next-generation desktop processor code-named Prescott that is due out in the second half of 2003.

Three years ago, Intel made an abortive foray into enhancing digital security and privacy when it said it planned to place serial numbers on all of its processors. An outcry from privacy groups prompted Intel to change the processors so the feature identifying the serial number was sold in a default, "off" position.

This time around, Intel gave few details ahead of time, including precisely what the technology would do. Otellini said that it would be designed into the next-generation of its desktop processors, which will not be on the market until at least 2004.


"It was all very, very gray," said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst at Prudential Securities.

In his prepared speech to several thousand attendees, mostly computer engineers, Otellini repeated Intel's belief that computing and communications are converging, a bet Intel has backed with billions of dollars over the past five years.

He argued computers will communicate far more than they do today, and communications devices, such as cellular phones, will boast more computing power. Moreover, Intel wants these myriad devices to be connected any time, anywhere -- an ambitious goal.

"Intel is taking all of these things as a vision and then calling on people to work together and support them," said Prudential's Mosesmann. "Intel appears very serious about making this work."

Otellini also demonstrated a computer with a Pentium 4 processor running at 4.7 gigahertz, representing what it said was a new high-frequency mark for processors.

The Boston Globe, September 10, 2002

Intel chip to include antipiracy features

By Chris Gaither, Globe Staff, 9/10/2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Bracing itself for another potential fight with computer privacy advocates, Intel Corp. said yesterday that its next generation of microchips, due next year, would include anti-piracy features that will protect computers against hackers and viruses while giving digital publishers powerful new tools to control the use of their products.

The technology, code-named LaGrande, was designed to protect computers from viruses and bad-natured hackers. But the feature will also give Hollywood, the recording industry, and software makers much stronger controls over the way consumers use their digital music, films, and computer programs.

Publishers, for example, may prevent PCs that run LaGrande and Microsoft Corp.'s software-based Palladium security technology from copying CDs, forwarding certain documents, or running unlicensed software.

Paul Otellini, Intel's president, said the chip maker would include no copyright protections in LaGrande, but he acknowledged that digital publishers could use the technology with software programs such as Palladium to create their own.

Intel intends to include the technology in the Prescott chip design, which will succeed the Pentium 4 as the Santa Clara, Calif., company's flagship PC chip in the second half of 2003.

Until then, consumer advocacy groups say they will lobby to ensure that publishers don't use these so-called secure computing initiatives to spy on PC users.

''These systems are likely to police copyright by watching who consumes what,'' said Chris Hoofnagle, legislative counsel with the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center. ''There are grave consequences for privacy with these systems,'' he added.

Intel's LaGrande effort is part of the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, a coalition of high-tech giants including Intel, IBM Corp., Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard Co.

While Intel is approaching secure computing at the level of the silicon chips and their accompanying components, Microsoft's Palladium initiative is software-based. Microsoft plans to include Palladium in future versions of the Windows operating system.

Privacy groups locked horns with Intel in 1999 over another attempt to solve the same security problems that LaGrande is tackling. Intel assigned a digital identifier, known as a processor serial number, to every new Pentium III chip, but disabled the feature a year later, after privacy groups said the serial number threatened to make anonymous Web surfing and Internet transactions impossible.

Ari Schwartz, associate director of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology, said LaGrande appeared to give users more control over the information revealed about themselves than the processor serial numbers. His group is meeting regularly with Microsoft and others to monitor their intentions.

''A lot of what's decided is going to be on the policy side, not the technical side,'' he said.

Seth Schoen, staff technologist for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Palladium and LaGrande could create a computing environment that is safer for publishers and their content, but less safe for computer users looking to maintain their privacy.

By protecting vaults of data and the pathways that transfer them within the PC, LaGrande will prevent viruses from infecting central parts of the computer, make it harder for hackers to take over computers remotely, and allow for more secure e-commerce transactions, Otellini said in a speech at Intel's twice-yearly developer forum yesterday.

But, he added, the chip maker learned from the processor serial number debacle. In ''creating a safer computing environment,'' he said, Intel is working with privacy groups ''to ensure that we do it in ways that are acceptable to the norms of privacy today.''

Intel used its developer forum to announce other new technologies and show off designs of the future. Demonstrations included an experimental Pentium 4 chip that designers ratcheted up to 4.7 gigahertz, nearly twice as speedy as the fastest chip on the market, a 2.8 gigahertz chip. They also showed a sneak preview of a chip code-named Madison, which is the next iteration of Intel's Itanium line of server chips.

Finally, Intel said it would move a new technology, currently being used in server chips, into top-of-the-line desktop computers this year. The 3.0 gigahertz Pentium 4, due this quarter, will include a feature known as hyper-threading, which improves performance as much as 30 percent with some software applications by making one processor act like two.

Chris Gaither can be reached at gaither@globe.com.

This story ran on page C3 of the Boston Globe on 9/10/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2002

Intel to Build Security Features Into Its Chips for First Time


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Intel Corp. next year plans to build special security features into its microprocessor chips for the first time, a move designed to address problems such as computer viruses and tampering by malicious hackers.

The technology, dubbed LaGrande, could become a factor in a widening debate over how to prevent personal-computer users from unauthorized copying of digital information, such as movies or music. Intel has generally been critical of attempts by Hollywood to mandate content-protection technology, though longtime partner Microsoft Corp. has been adding such features to its software.

Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief operating officer, said the company doesn't plan to offer any copy protection as part of LaGrande. But he acknowledged that the technology could be a foundation for other companies to do so, possibly working with Microsoft.

Included in Prescott

The LaGrande technology will be first included in Prescott, Intel's code name for a member of its Pentium chip line that is due out in the second half of next year. It was one of a series of technical advances outlined by Mr. Otellini at a conference here for software and hardware developers.

Other announcements include a move, about a year ahead of schedule, to add a technology called Hyper-Threading to desktop PCs. The technique allows a single microprocessor to act like two in some circumstances, bringing a performance boost of 25% to 30%. The feature will be added in the fourth quarter with the next member of Intel's Pentium 4 family, which also will operate at three gigahertz, up from the prior top speed of 2.8 gigahertz.

Intel also demonstrated a prototype chip operating at a frequency of 4.7 gigahertz, which the company believes is an industry record, and initiatives to help programmers adapt products that were developed for Intel-based PCs to other kinds of devices that use its chips.

The idea of using chips, as well as software, to protect security isn't new got wider attention this summer with the announcement by Microsoft of a security initiative called Palladium, which the software company said it would seek to develop with help from Intel as well as rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Key Functions Are Protected

Mr. Otellini said Intel had been working on the concept for several years. Where Internet security technologies already protect information in transit between a user's PC and Web sites, LaGrande and Palladium attempt to safeguard information and software once it is on a PC. The idea is to partition off parts of a computer into protected sections dubbed  "vaults," and protect the pathways between those areas and keyboards, monitors and other accessories.

One benefit is what Intel calls a "secure boot," which means that the basic instructions used when starting a computer can't be modified for improper purposes. Unlike Palladium, LaGrande also is expected to work with operating systems other than Microsoft Windows, a choice likely to please Microsoft rivals concerned about the company having too much influence over PC security.

"LaGrande looks like a general technology that could protect the whole machine from the beginning," said Martin Reynolds, an analyst with Gartner Inc. "It has some broader capabilities than Palladium."

Mr. Otellini acknowledged that the company is a bit gun-shy about building in security features. In 1999, Intel was met with a firestorm of negative publicity when it decided to introduce an identifying serial number with its Pentium III chip. After the uproar, the company decided to switch off the identifier but allow it to be activated later by users.

Similarly with LaGrande, Mr. Otellini stressed that users can switch on or off the security features. He added that the company has had talks with Hollywood firms about the technology and antipiracy techniques, a field sometimes called DRM, for digital rights management.

"We have this philosophy on content, that Hollywood ought to protect it at its source," Mr. Otellini said.

Write to Don Clark at don.clark@wsj.com

Updated September 10, 2002