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AMD Releases 'Pacifica' Virtualization Spec

AMD released the complete specification of its “Pacifica” chip-level virtualization technology for its 64-bit processors this week, joining Intel in the rush to build chip support for running multiple operating systems simultaneously.

Like Intel’s similar Virtualization Technology (VT) for its own 64-bit processors introduced March 1, Pacifica is meant to make it easier for AMD’s 64-bit CPUs to virtualize operating systems. Additionally, AMD assured customers that Pacifica will not harm the compatibility or stability of legacy applications.

"Pacifica is designed to enhance 64-bit client and server virtualization technologies for x86-based servers, workstations, desktops and mobile computers,” according to an AMD statement. The company eventually plans to ship the technology in CPUs that cover its entire line of AMD64 processors, including Opteron, Athlon and Turion chips.

The first AMD processors to directly support Pacifica are scheduled for release in the first half of 2006. Intel says it will begin shipping CPUs that support its VT by year end.

The announcement came Wednesday at the LinuxWorld Summit in New York. Just a month ago, AMD predictably lined up with Microsoft to announce support for the newly released x64 Editions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional.

Get the spec, in Adobe Acrobat format, at: http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_ and_tech_docs/33047.pdf.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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