AMD Unveils Virtualization Technology

AMD said its virtualization technology, code-named Pacifica, would be available throughout its processor lineup, including its Athlon64 for desktops and Opteron processors for servers and workstations. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip maker plans to release specifications for the technology next month.

As part of its announcement, made at AMD's facilities in Austin, Texas, the company said it had forged working alliances with Microsoft and virtualization technology companies VMWare and XenSource.

By rolling out virtualization technology, AMD would follow rival Intel, which has released specifications for its Intel Virtualization Technology. The Santa Clara, Calif., chip giant plans to release the virtualization technology for its desktop and 64-bit Itanium processors in the second half of this year. Virtualization for Intel Xeon processors is expected to be available in 2006.

The race to add hardware-based virtualization--as AMD and Intel gear up to ship their first dual-core chips later this year--is expected to spur innovation in graphics, digital convergence and IT management. Among other things, virtualization would permit systems to be partitioned into "subsystems" that would allow PCs and servers to be configured with multiple operating systems or with multiple user models, without significantly degrading performance.

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