Intel's Letting Your PC Sleep With One Eye Open

Starting next month, Intel will start adding its new "Remote Wake" technology into some of its motherboards. Before you yawn, and think "Wake-on-LAN" (WOL), and say "so what"... This ain't your granddaddy’s remote wake. Today, if your home PC goes into sleep mode and then someone tries to call you on your PC-based VoIP service, the call will not go through, because as far as the service is concerned, your PC is off. Intel's about to change that paradigm by allowing VoIP call to wake up sleeping PCs. In fact, it's not just limited to VoIP--it is being applied to remote access, P2P content delivery, and probably a whole bevy of other scenarios that haven't been announced yet.

"To reduce consumer energy consumption a handful of high-tech companies are revealing plans to support a powerful new capability Intel is adding to select versions of its motherboard products, Intel:reg; Remote Wake technology. The technology does what it says – it enables the home PC to 'wake up' for incoming VoIP calls, and remote media access to photos, videos and music over the internet."

Essentially, how Remote Wake differs from WOL is that even when your system is in sleep mode, Remote Wake still diverts enough power to maintain an active Internet connection, listening for incoming packets. If it receives a special type of packet, the system will wake up. Intel has listed at least four companies it is partnering with for the launch of the new technology: CyberLink, JAJAH, Orb, and Pando Networks. All four companies will be updating their software to support Intel's Remote Wake technology. It is certain that other vendors will integrate Intel Remote Wake support into their products as well.

"With Intel Remote Wake technology, CyberLink Live Premium now allows users to wake up their home PCs from sleep mode for secure remote access of their digital media, such as live TV shows, webcam feeds, videos, photos, music and business documents, whilst keeping the PC at home energy efficient."

"JAJAH... today unveiled the world's first telephony application to utilize Intel's Remote Wake technology. This energy efficient capability turns the home PC into an 'always available' communications hub for the first time, with Intel Remote Wake technology enabling the home PC to 'wake up' from energy efficient sleep mode to accept phone calls."

"Orb Networks... today announced it has collaborated with Intel to update its award-winning media access service to work with Intel's Remote Wake technology. Orb's support for this new functionality enables consumers to "wake up" their home PC from energy-efficient sleep mode to access all their media, anytime, from any internet- connected device."

"Pando Networks... today announced the world's first content delivery service to make use of Intel’s Remote Wake technology.  This enhancement makes the personal computer an always available and energy efficient extension to content distribution networks.  The combination of Pando Networks secure content delivery services and Intel Remote Wake will offer content providers and consumers more choice in how they can access, purchase, and download digital media content to the home PC, even when consumers are not at home."

Intel has yet to release technical details on the new Remote Wake technology, such as whether the relevant sleep mode will correspond to an existing, industry-standard ACPI mode, or represent a new proprietary mode. Also unknown is how much additional power needs to be consumed to keep the Internet connection active. We suspect that Intel's Remote Wake technology is actually a consumer-branded version of the Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), which is integrated into Intel's vPro business desktop platform.
Tags:  Intel, PC, Sleep, pen, ting, One, Open