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'All' AMD CPUs to support virtualisation mid-2006

Pacifica promoted as firm demos first DDR 2-supporting Opteron

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AMD yesterday demo'd its upcoming DDR 2-supporting dual-core 64-bit processor. The core also supports 'Pacifica', AMD's answer to Intel's Virtualisation Technology. AMD said Pacifica was now available for broad licensing, and will be built into "all" its CPUs this year.

The updated dual-core chip - an Opteron, apparently - was fabbed at 90nm using a partially depleted silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technique. It's got nine layers of copper interconnects, including one for power and another for ground. AMD said the demo part was clocked to 2.6GHz, with a core voltage of 1.35V and a 95W maximum power draw.

Separately, AMD said its Pacifica specification is now available under a royalty-free licence, the better to allow manufacturers of chipsets and systems, along with software developers, to adopt and support the technology.

Pacifica,- which covers virtualisation at both the CPU and I/O levels, is due to be incorporated into "all" AMD's processors in mid-2006, the company said. Chipset-level support will arrive in the same timeframe and on through the rest of the year.

Virtualisation enables a machine to operate as multiple computers, each running its own operating system and applications. In addition to chipset support, the technology needs intermediary controller software of the kind produced by Microsoft, VMware and XenSource - all of whom AMD was conveniently able to list as Pacifica backers, though they also all support Intel's VT. ®

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