The problem with existing malware and anti-virus software is that it works by detecting recognisable strings of code - known as the signatures - in order to stop malicious programs. Unfortunately, this means that the definitions need to be updated on a regular basis, leaving systems vulnerable to so called 'zero-day attacks' that haven't been profiled yet.
However, if you believe Intel CTO Justin Rattner, this type of security could soon be a thing of the past. In an interview with IDG/Computerworld, Rattner explained how the company's researchers were working on technologies that would put an end to zero-day attacks once and for all.
"I think we have some real breakthrough ideas about changing the game in terms of malware. We're going to see a quantum jump in the ability of future devices, be them PCs or phones or tablets or smart TVs, to defend themselves against attacks."
He went on to explain that the new technology will be hardware-based and won't rely on signatures. As a result of this "radically different" approach, the tech will be able to detect and stop completely new viruses - a feat that current solutions struggle with.
Apparently this new anti-virus platform was in development before Intel's acquisition of security experts McAfee last August, although that isn't to say that the company won't be involved in the project.
Unfortunately, Rattner wasn't able to go into any more details on how the new solution would work, nor when it might start appearing in the chip-giant's products. Nonetheless, the technology could have a huge impact on the PC security market, and give Intel a massive competitive advantage over both AMD and ARM.