Memtest86, a French technical web site, claims that it has acquired details of Intel's 2006/7 Broadwater platform.
Processors such as Allendale - available at the end of 2006 - and Millville - available early in 2007 - use the Broadwater chipset platform to access DDDR2 and DDR3 memory through one or two channels. The processors have several I/O channels at their service: up to eight PCI EXpress slots; Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11, 10/100 LAN MAC; serial flash; six SATA ports; high definition audio; TPM and Trusted Memory and Trusted USB2 (8 ports). LaGrande secure computing technology is also present in Broadwater.
LaGrande technology is about delivering a foundation for trusted computing, according to Intel COO Paul Otellini. It will feature protected execution of programs, the use of protected memory and access to protected storage. It effectively is a gatekeeper on CPUs and chipsets that decides whether or not to let O/Ss and applications run on the hardware.
The LaGrande scheme describes chip and chipset attributes needed to facilitate secure computing. An example of one such is Microsoft's NGSCB or Next Generation Secure Computing Base. (This was once code-named Palladium.) It is expected that enterprise Linux/Unix vendors are also working with Intel to use Broadwater. Intel presents LaGrande in a software-agnostic fashion.
TPM, meaning trusted platform module, is a chip which holds individual Broadwater platform data and encryption keys, plus a random number generator for keys.
In Broadwater, storage would become a fortified vault, instead of being openly available to any application run under any operating system, as with today's situation.
The situation in the future will be worse because the use of web services will mean that code fragments will be dynamically assembled from multiple locations across a network. These will work together to provide application functions. Broadwater, with LaGrande and TPM, should help ensure that only web service code fragements that have already been validated will be used.
Intel is concerned that x86 take advantage of its coming technology to best provide the performance and security users want. Put simply, such secured hardware won't let hackers take over servers and workstations with malicious code because it won't be authorised by the LaGrand'ised systems to run on them.
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