On 9th Sep 2013, Intel announced the next generation 1500 SSD Pro series at IDF 2013. One of the new features added issupport for the TCG OPAL 1.0 specification.


OPAL drives offload the burden of encryption/decryption operations that otherwise has to be performed by software. Since encryption occurs in hardware, OPAL drives can perform these operations at wire speed. It is worth pointing out that it is not possible to enable/disable the encryption function on OPAL drives. So, these drives are always encrypting whether you want it or not.


Due to the low latency and wire speed performance, OPAL drives can be particularly interesting for professionals that require high data throughput, but also have significant data security needs.


OPAL drives by themselves are akin to a strong, safe but with its door wide unlocked and wide open. OPAL drives require authentication and key management in front of it for them to be secure.  Products like McAfee’s Drive Encryption (aka Endpoint Encryption for PC) provide critical user authentication, key management and general management/administration of OPAL 1.0 drives.


On the same week as Intel’s launch, McAfee also announced full compatibility and interoperability of McAfee Drive Encryption (aka Endpoint Encryption for PC) with Intel’s 1500 SSD Pro series OPAL drives.  Customers that purchase laptops/desktops withthe 1500 SSD Pro OPAL drives can benefit from great performance, high security and management of the security of these drives within McAfee ePO.