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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
AMD unveils virtualization platform

AMD for the first time publicly disclosed key elements of its "Pacifica" virtualization technology , at the AMD Reviewer's Day in Austin, Texas. "Pacifica" will help extend AMD's technology leadership when it brings to market technology that is designed to enhance 64-bit server virtualization technologies for x86-based servers, desktops and mobile computers.

"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," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of the Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, AMD. "By enhancing virtualization at the processor level, and building on the success of industry-leading AMD64 technology, we believe that 'Pacifica' is vital to the development of best-in-class virtualization solutions."

"Pacifica" will extend AMD64 technology with Direct Connect Architecture to enhance the virtualization experience by introducing a new model and features into the processor and memory controller. Designed to enhance and extend traditional software-only based virtualization approaches, these new features will help reduce complexity and increase security of new virtualization solutions, while protecting IT investments through backward compatibility with existing virtualization software.

By enabling a platform to efficiently run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions, essentially allowing one compute system to function as multiple "virtual" systems, "Pacifica" is designed to provide foundation technologies to deliver IT resource utilization advantages through server consolidation, legacy migration and increased security. Information about "Pacifica" is immediately available at

AMD's commitment to provide the industry with superior technology to enable virtualization solutions is demonstrated through strategic alliances with partners including Microsoft, VMware and XenSource.

"Businesses and consumers have rapidly adopted Microsoft's Virtual PC 2004 and Virtual Server 2005 for scenarios ranging from development and test simulation to production server consolidation," said Rob Short, corporate vice president, Windows(R) Division at Microsoft Corp. "We are excited about AMD's focus on enabling technologies such as 'Pacifica,' and are working with them and other partners to ensure our software virtualization solutions for the Windows platform will leverage these underlying hardware advancements. Processor virtualization extensions are an important building block for future virtual machine solutions on the Windows platform."

"Leveraging seven years of technology innovation and leadership in virtualization, VMware today delivers production-ready virtual infrastructure products for AMD Opteron(TM) processor-based servers and AMD Athlon(TM) 64 processor-based desktops," said Paul Chan, vice president of Research and Development, VMware. "We're pleased to continue collaborating with AMD on virtualization technologies such as 'Pacifica' to optimize future AMD64 technologies for our products and further expand the deployment of virtualization in the data center."

Today's disclosure about "Pacifica" precedes the general availability of the "Pacifica" specification, which is planned for April, 2005. "Pacifica," which will provide users with hardware support to better enhance the flexibility and performance of current solutions, is planned to be available in both client and server processors from AMD in the first half of 2006. Feature enhancements are also planned for future single-core and dual-core AMD64 processors to further leverage the performance of 64-bit virtualization software.

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