Intel's McAfee product leverages old chip features

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Aug 5, 2011 3:17pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel's first cyber-security product co-developed with its McAfee unit will take advantage of features already built into its processors and will likely be available as an extra service to customers.

Renee James, head of Intel's software division, would not discuss pricing for the service, expected out before the end of the year, but said it would work on personal computers using Intel chips sold as long as five years ago.

"It will allow you to subscribe to an enhanced product that's available to those machines," James told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

"You'll have great security from McAfee in software only, and if you have an Intel core laptop or ultrabook it's going to be even more secure," she said.

Intel bought McAfee earlier this year in a $7.7 billion deal meant to help the world's top chipmaker offer more safety from hackers to customers using its chips.

Since then, a wave of high-profile hacking attacks against companies, including consumer electronics giant Sony,has underscored the growing risk to companies and consumers from online criminals.

Intel's upcoming McAfee product will not include new tweaks to its processors or building security measures directly onto the chips, as some experts have said the company might do.

"We are taking advantage of existing features in silicon to build new software products that are more robust," James said. "We are not embedding the software in the silicon and I want to be clear about that," James said.

She added the chip features were open to other security software companies, including McAfee rival Symantec.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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