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Intel is rolling out its newest business PC processors, the Core vPro, that combine the chip maker’s “Sandy Bridge” architecture with the latest generation of its on-board management and security capabilities.

Intel unveiled the 2nd Generation Core vPro i5 and i7 processors March 17, with Rick Echevarria, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and general manager of Intel’s Business Client Platform Division, saying the capabilities in vPro 2.0 will enable PCs with the processors to act in a hub role, providing the link for such devices as smartphones and tablets.

That strategy comes as sales of smartphones and tablets skyrocket, and increasingly are becoming tools used in the enterprise. In addition, some research firms, like Gartner, are predicting that tablet sales will cut into the PC business. However, others, including Canalsys, are grouping tablets with PCs when considering its computer numbers.

Having such capabilities is increasingly important in a rapidly changing IT field, which is having to deal with such trends as cloud computing and virtualization, greater mobility and the ongoing consumerization of corporate IT, Echevarria said during a Webcast.

“The line between personal and professional [computing] is blurring,” he said.

Intel officials said Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Fujitsu are among the PC makers expected to introduce systems powered by the new Core vPro chips.

During stops in several regions in North America last month, Intel officials gave journalists and analysts a look at some of the key new features in vPro 2.0, including Intel Anti-Theft Technology 3.0. With the previous version, IT administrators could send a coded “poison pill” to a stolen or lost laptop via a WiFi network to prevent access to encrypted data. With the newest version, that code can be sent over a 3G network to a laptop moments after it’s turned on. Another message can reactivate the PC once it’s found.

For more, read the eWEEK article: Intel Brings vPro 2.0 Features to ‘Sandy Bridge’ Platform.