Intel will turn on security features and 64-bit extensions within the Prescott core as it ships PC and server processors based on Prescott and the Grantsdale chipset in the second half of the year.
Prescott supports the NX (no execute) feature that will prevent worms and viruses from executing dangerous code through the exploitation of buffer overflows.
Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon 64 and Opteron processors also come with this feature, which requires software support from Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 expected later this year.
Intel has built technologies into other processors that it disabled at launch and turned on over time as software became available to support those features. Hyperthreading is a recent example.
Extensions technology is another feature that was disabled in Prescott processors but will be activated in forthcoming processors. Intel's first server and workstation processors with 64-bit extensions to the x86 instruction set will launch next month with products expected in July from server companies.
The chips based on Intel's EM64T (extended memory 64 technology) will include chips for dual-processor servers based on the Nocona core and single-processor servers and workstations based on the Prescott core. The Nocona core is virtually the same as the Prescott core, but Nocona comes with additional reliability features and is subject to tougher validation testing.
Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service