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
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.