The new platform, unveiled on Wednesday at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, is part of a multistage effort by Intel to create a de facto standard for business PC deployments similar to its Centrino platform in the mobile computing market.
In May, Intel introduced its first Professional Business Platform, a single-core processor platform intended "to prime the pump" for its long-term vision for the enterprise, says Gregory Bryant, general manager of Intel's division for digital office platforms.
Intel remains officially noncommittal over whether it intends to ultimately create a specific business brand with the platform similar to the wireless mobile Centrino brand. The decision will be influenced by how quickly and broadly PC manufacturers and businesses adopt the platform.
The Professional Business Platform is intended to address the "mainstream" enterprise PC market. Intel will also continue to offer processors for use in high performance and entry-level systems.
"This platform has developed in part because the gigahertz race isn't all that interesting anymore," Bryant says. "This is about getting new technology out into the mainstream of the market. There are real problems to be solved, and you can't solve them with just a processor."
The 2006 Professional Business Platform for desktops is code-named Averill and will be built around a dual-core Pentium processor manufactured with 65-nanometer technology. The platform will also include Intel's virtualization and active-management technology.
Altiris, BMC, CheckPoint, Computer Associates, LANDesk, Novell, Symantec, StarSoftCom, and Trend Micro will develop software and other products to support the active-management technology. Lenovo, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, VMWare, and Xensource are developing supporting products for the virtualization technology.
Bryant says Intel plans to extend the Professional Business Platform to mobile computing in 2007.