Such functionality extends, but it's not limited, to Platform Clocks Control (ICC), Thermal Monitoring, Fan Control, Power Management, Overclocking, Silicon Workaround (resolves silicon bugs which would have otherwise required a new cpu stepping), Identity Protection Technology, Rapid Start Technology, Smart Connect Technology, Sensor Hub Controller (ISHC), Active Management Technology (AMT), Small Business Advantage (SBA), Wireless Display, Protected Video/Audio Path etc.For certain advanced/corporate features (AMT, SBA etc) the ME uses an out-of-band (OOB) network interface to perform functions even when the system is powered down, the OS and/or hard drivers are non-functional etc.A newer Drivers & Software package has newer Software but the actual SOL "driver" may still be an older version.The SOL "driver" is not really a driver but rather a placeholder INF file which assigns a correct device name at Device Manager and prevents the latter from showing the yellow exclamation mark of "No driver was found for this device".Usually MEInfo, MEManuf and All ME 8 and up firmware include a VCN number like 1,2,3,4 etc.The VCN number gets incremented if there is a security fix, a significant firmware change or a new feature addition.It operates independently from the main CPU, BIOS & OS but can interact with them if needed.
However, since we cannot always find the latest MEI-Only Installer, it is advised to use the "INF for manual installation" in case it's version is newer. The SOL "driver" listed above is part of the complete Drivers & Software packages found at section A3.
Intel Management Engine Introduction: Built into many Intel-based platforms is a small, low power computer subsystem called the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME).
This can perform various tasks while the system is booting, running or sleeping.
Make sure you install Kernel-Mode Driver Framework (KMDF) version 1.11 before the Intel MEI Driver.
Otherwise, a yellow bang will appear on Intel MEI device upon installation.
Thus it's essential for it to be operational in order for the platform to be working properly, no matter if the advanced/corporate features are available or not. Thus, they can be extremely helpful to those who have major problems with their systems for which their manufacturer refuses to assist due to indifference and/or system age.