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RealTime IT News

AMD Takes Pacifica Virtualization Spec Public

AMD has published the first draft of its hardware virtualization technology, making the Pacifica specification available for public review.

Pacifica is AMD's plan to run software in its computer chips to forge virtual partitions that can render multiple operating systems and applications on one computer.

The technology is designed to spruce up 64-bit client and server virtualization technologies for servers, desktops and mobile devices based on x86 architecture.

Pacifica blends AMD64 technology with Direct Connect architecture, a processor design AMD uses to link the core CPU with the memory controllers and the other I/O circuits.

Pacifica helps protect computers against viruses and spyware because it uses Enhanced Virus Protection technology enabled features in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

Pacifica is intended to improve upon traditional software-based virtualization approaches.

Even so, Sunnyvale, Calif.'s, AMD has asked various software providers to help support Pacifica. AMD is promoting Pacifica through strategic alliances with partners such as Microsoft, VMware and open source distributor XenSource.

AMD's chief competition in hardware virtualization is Intel, which making its own brand of Virtualization Technology (formerly called Vanderpool).

Pacifica will be available in client and server processors from AMD in the first half of 2006. Enhancements are also planned for future single-core and dual-core AMD64 processors.

The Pacifica specification may be viewed here.