Unified Extensible Firmware Interface is what the acronym stands for but what is it and how will it affect us? UEFI is similar to BIOS in that runs the POST at startup and also allows the operating system to boot, but that is where the similarities end. On top of that UEFI also has many additional features such as secure boot and some networking capability, but this is not all that it’s limited to.
EFI the precursor to UEFI was developed by Intel as a replacement for BIOS. It has been used by some motherboard manufacturers but it never took off as Intel had hoped it would. Eventually the project was given to a consortium of companies who have now taken it and developed it further and it has since been referred to as UEFI. This replacement for BIOS has a fancier looking GUI and has added the ability to use a mouse and keyboard rather than just a keyboard for navigation. Additionally it is touting a faster boot time since it is capable of addressing more data at a time than BIOS can.
One of the more controversial features has been secure boot. Windows 8 will be one of the first operating systems to really use this feature and many are concerned that it will block others from installing older versions of Windows or Linux. The reason for this concern is that Microsoft will be using a digital signature in the operating system that UEFI looks for prior to allowing the operating system to boot. If a rootkit is present the signature will then change thus UEFI will block it from running. Microsoft is mandating that if any OEM’s want to put a “Made for Windows 8” sticker on their computers then secure boot needs to be enabled. With this system in place Linux and older versions of Windows will not be able to be installed. Microsoft has since released a statement saying that the ability to turn off secure boot will be available in UEFI.
I think that UEFI has some good features that definitely prove that it can be a successor to BIOS, but what are your thoughts on this? If you’re trying to decide between UEFI and BIOS for computers at your company, then give us a call and let us assist you.
You may not have heard of ARM but I’m willing to bet that you’ve used or come across a device with an ARM processor. Currently ARM processors are most prevalent in smart phones and tablets but it appears that they are trying to move into the server market to assist in the creation of servers with low power consumption. Leading the processor market has always been both Intel and AMD in desktops, laptops and servers and with good reason as they boast some of the fastest processors available. With that speed though comes a large amount of energy usage whereas ARM’s processors don’t have the speed that AMD and Intel both have but they do use significantly less power.
Currently ARM has teamed up with Calxeda and has produced the processor that is fit for use in servers. So far Dell has agreed to build a server using the ARM processor. The Dell project is named Copper. The project has the servers designed to handle a series of SoC’s (System on Chip) so that each server would contain a series of mini computers all containing an ARM processor. This setup would allow each server to contain many cores of processing power. For the Copper server the total power used would be 750 watts which would be 15 watts per node.
As it stands there are very few applications that will work on ARM servers. Dell is planning on shipping servers via a seed unit program to customers to support the building of software for ARM architecture. To start off the servers will be designed for handling web applications and other services that don’t require the extra horsepower that AMD and Intel can provide. So let’s wait and see what happens with this project, I know I’m excited for it. If you’re looking to purchase a new server for your business, then give us a call and allow us to assist you.
Why doesn't my laptop have USB 3.0?. I've been asking myself that question a lot lately.
It's 2011. That should be a USB 3.0 port on the 2010 MacBook Air. But it's not necessarily Apple's fault. All laptops should have had that 10-year-old USB 2.0 port updated years ago.(Credit: Apple)None of my laptops has a USB 3.0 port. Not my 2010 MacBook Air, not my prior-generation Air, nor my Dell laptop. Nor do the laptops purchased recently by my business acquaintances, who typically buy earlier models that have been price-reduced.Let me be clear, I've talked to Intel, folks at the USB Implementers Forum, PC makers, and analysts. And I've heard every reason under the sun as to why the Universal Serial Bus interface hasn't been upgraded in 10 years. (Intel: We'll get around to it in 2012.)But those reasons (including: it won't make any material difference for things like printers...not supported in Intel silicon) don't change the fact that devices I use demand a faster USB interface. Now. Or I should say yesterday: I needed it a long time ago.
Thunderbolt, as promising as it sounds, does nothing for consumers today.
I'll be honest, I had completely forgotten about USB 3.0. All this hubbub about Thunderbolt took my mind right off of it. Thunderbolt has the ability to connect multiple devices such as HDD's and TVs in order to stream media and transfer content at ludicrous speed.
But why haven't we seen more USB 3.0 support inside of laptops and other computers? I think it's safe to say we can blame Intel for their lack of adoption in their chipsets. Even if that's not the case, I'm still going to blame them just for the article's sake. It's silly to think that we've been on USB 2.0 for so long. It should take just seconds to sync our cell phones to our fancy iTunes and move over all my episodes of Doctor Who. Seconds!
Now, it's entirely possible that we may skip USB 3.0 in favor of Thunderbolt. Apple had begun using similar specs to connect to their flat-screen panels, and now the same plug can be used to transfer files at warp speed. It's likely that in future products, Apple could use Thunderbolt for their iPhones and iPads. You could, in theory, sync your iOS device in 5 seconds. Yowza!
Still, I'd love for us to get to a place were we don't need these wires, but I don't think we're there yet. We may not even be there for several more years. If you have a healthy helping of media you need transfered at light speed, be sure to contact us at Trigon and we can help you have more time for Doctor Who.
Is it really time to worry about Intel's possible purchase of McAfee? Will the IT Support sector be faced with another monopoly? Will we all be out of jobs as Intel takes the next step to creating Skynet?
I don't think so. Now, I am not an economic guru, nor am I really that obsessed with the trends of the larger corporations that have products in the Information Technology fields. But this one caught my interest. Intel has chips in EVERYTHING; McAfee has software deployed by users EVERYWHERE. So this move was intriguing to me when I heard about it.
Checking out articles and blogs about this topic I found several opinions and observations. The first is 7.68 Billion dollars is a lot of money for McAfee. It seems like a bid to purposely outdistance the other companies sniffing around MacAfee, almost desperate.
Some feel that the whole purchase is just to get a new foothold and profit sources for Intel. For example, Intel did purchase a company that made microscopes and such, but got out of the business due to poor returns. Others seem to think that this is just another step in Intel's strategic buying initiatives.
Intel is no stranger to acquisitions; they have acquired many companies over the years of ranging technologies, all in the name of diversification and strategic goals. For example, back in 1997 Intel went on a buying spree. They bought stakes in the following companies: One Touch Systems, a maker of interactive broadcast technology; bought a 4.9 percent stake in Internet communications company CMG Information, and previously acquired multiprocessor module vendor Corollary. At the time the interest that Intel was expressing was in broadband and visual technologies. Two quotes from Intel representative at that time indicate their intents:
Gerald Holshammer, GM, Intel Internet and Media Architecture Labs:
"We are excited by the potential of distance learning as an application for the visual connected business PC. Building on our technology, One Touch is now able to deliver the same interactive content to corporate PC desktops as it has already been delivering to satellite-enabled classrooms."
Intel corporate spokesman Tom Waldrop:
"We think it's very important to have wide availability of residential broadband communications to help increase the value of home PCs going forward, for example, you recently saw investments from us in Covad (EN, Dec. 8), which has some ex-Intel employees in the area of DSL (digital subscriber line)." Charles McMinn, Chuck Haas and Dhruv Khanna have formed Covad to enable communications over plain old copper telephone lines. Intel is Covad's first customer.
These statements were made in 1997, 13 years ago. This shows the vision that Intel has for growth and the industry. Both the distance learning and a little thing called broadband have greatly impacted how we interact, work, learn, and shop. Maybe the next step is to put all that into a mobile device instead of the computer and laptops.
Most all observers and Intel itself all say that the move is another strategic step to better position the company in the market. With having McAfee in its corner it will have better access and control of the security it wants to put in place on its devices. Intel is showing a greater interest in the mobile device market from smart phones to tablets. Intel has embraced security as a requirement for its products. Another point is that McAfee has purchased several companies whose prevue is mobile security, so they are already heading down that road.
Will this be a good or bad thing, who knows? But purchasing a product with Intel chips and now possible proprietary security software or even hardware, will limit options for the users.
On the upside, if Intel follows through with their strategic view and gets involved with the security on the smart phones and pads, I will be a happier user. With more personal and financial information being manipulated through mobile devices, the greater the need for security on the mobile devices.
Jared Newman of Pcworld summed this well in his blog Intel's McAfee Buy: 3 Things it Could Mean:
The Boring Answer: Intel Wants McAfee's Acquisitions
As TechCrunch points out, McAfee recently acquired Trust Digital and TenCube, both of which deal in mobile security. The former provides enterprise protection for smartphones, including the iPhone, and the latter is the maker of WaveSecure, software that's available to consumers for Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones.
The Wacky Answer: Intel Computing
Let's not forget Meego, the operating system Intel and Nokia are developing together for smartphones, tablets and netbooks. For Meego to take off, it'll need to be secure, and Intel will have better luck with its own security company.
The Realistic Answer: Security for a Changing Intel
A comment to Reuters from Renee James, head of Intel's software and services group, is most telling: "We have lots of activities going on in growing connected devices ... from connected television to mobile devices," she said, adding that Intel believes it can enhance security with hardware.
Intel's press release speaks of "a product" to be introduced next year. Given Intel's push into television with Google TV, and mobile devices with the upcoming Medfield smartphone chip, my guess is that Intel will launch one security product that's tied to all its new hardware ventures, a kind of guarantee that when you buy a connected device powered by Intel, it'll be safe from threats on the Internet.
Today, there is some relatively big news in the IT support world. In what ended up being a surprising move, Intel purchased McAfee, for, according to various sources, approximately 8 billion dollars (an amount of money I'll never see). Intel is said to have purchased the antivirus software company in order to sure up hardware security in their processors and in order to bridge the gap between software and chips when it comes to protecting against threats. According to electronista.com "Intel is most interested in security for mobile and embedded hardware, which often aren't as secure as full-size computers."
Pretty solid move, I'd say...
It will sure up PC and system security, and make the lives of those in IT Support & IT Security much easier, hopefully.
The deal, however, is not yet solidified. The board members of Intel and McAfee have both approved the merger, but there is still an awful lot to be finalized - including McAfee's share holders giving the go-ahead. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens, but it should turn out to be quite interesting. Computer security may be changing in the near future...
Anyway, in the meantime, if you need help bolstering your IT Security, contact Trigon Technology today - at 1-888-494-TRIGON or by email at solutions@TrigonIT. With Trigon, you can expect IT to happen!
Not being up to date on Intel processors like I used to, (owning an Intel Core 2 Quad QX9450: 2.66GHz, 45nm technology); I wanted to review and get the specs of the Intel Core i7 Processor: Extreme Edition.
The i7-975 processor is ranked at 3.33GHz per core on a whopping four cores. The processor has 8 threads; it's quite possibly ridiculous for the transfer of information and speed. However, the use of two threads per core enables the processor and the user to perform multiple tasks without any problems... in this case; this processor is advertised to be utilized as a gaming processor.
The usage of Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology helps increase the overall speed to 3.55GHz per core or 3.66GHz at a single core. This technology is utilized even more than ever when the technology was first enabled in the need I say; Pentium 4 Single core technology.
According to http://www.tomshardware.com/, the i7-975 chip is limited to a triple memory controller of DDR3-1066 but they have found that it is possible to reach as high as DDR3-2133 front side bus. I currently utilize DDR3-1333 front side bus on my chip but to be able to go up to DDR-2133 on the i7-975 is far beyond my processor's capabilities.
So in close... I am very impressed with the Intel i7-975 chip. Unfortunately, this chip is only as good and as current as I type this; so what's next?