AMD demos Pacifica PC virtualization

Quoting from BetaNews:

At a meeting to showcase its latest technologies in Austin, Texas, AMD on Wednesday demonstrated its “Pacifica” virtualization technology, which allows a user to run multiple operating systems on a single machine. While this can already be done on today’s computers, Pacifica requires no advanced software.

With the Pacifica technology, as well as Intel’s rival offering dubbed “Vanderpool,” the software needed will be built into the chip itself. While basic software is still required to switch between operating systems, the programs will be less complex and more secure than older methods.

“AMD has taken an inclusive approach to Pacifica by previewing it to the virtualization ISV and analyst community. This ongoing collaboration, including today’s disclosure, will ultimately provide Pacifica users with an even richer feature set and a higher performance model for hosting hypervisor-based virtualization solutions,” AMD vice president Marty Seyer said.

Initially, the company will only put the technology on its AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. These Pacifica-enabled chips are expected to hit the market in the early part of 2006. Software makers, however, will get a full preview of the specifications in April.

According to AMD, performance-boosting enhancements are planned for both single and dual-core chips in the future, although no date was set.