The Intel® Management Engine is an embedded microcontroller (integrated on some Intel chipsets) running a lightweight microkernel operating system that provides a variety of features and services for Intel® processor–based computer systems.
What kind of features does Intel® Management Engine have?
Features include (but are not limited to):
- Low-power, out-of-band (OOB) management services
- Capability Licensing Service (CLS)
- Anti-Theft Protection
- Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP)
At system initialization, the Intel® Management Engine loads its code from system flash memory. This allows the Intel® Management Engine to be up before the main operating system is started. For run-time data storage, the Intel® Management Engine has access to a protected area of system memory (in addition to a small amount of on-chip cache memory for faster and more efficient processing).
A fundamental feature of the Intel® Management Engine is that its power states are independent of the host OS power states. This feature allows it to be up when the microprocessor and many other components of the system are in deeper sleep states. As a result, the Intel® Management Engine can be a fully functioning component as soon as power is applied to the system. This capability allows it to respond to OOB commands from the IT management console without having to wake up the rest of the system. Therefore, power consumption is reduced significantly.