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While dual-core and eventually multi-core processors can do a lot in terms of making multitasking and virtualization more-efficient, dual-core chips are not required for Intel’s forthcoming desktop virtualization technology called Vanderpool.

Intel Confirms Virtualization on Single-Core Chips

“There is nothing that technically speaks against having Virtualization Technology (Vanderpool) implemented in a single core CPU. We will disclose further details on Vanderpool and in which products we will integrate it at a later point in time,” an Intel Corp.’s official told X-bit labs on Friday.

It is unclear whether VT-enabled chips have to support Hyper-Threading technology.

Earlier on Friday a Japan-based web-site PC Watch published a report claiming certain of Intel’s Pentium 4 600-series processors projected to be available in the second half of the year would support the virtualization technology called Vanderpool. Virtualization capability is also expected to be present on Intel’s dual-core processors code-named Smithfield and Presler as well as on single-core 65nm CedarMill central processing units.

The initial Intel Pentium 4 processors series 600 are expected to be positioned for high-end and performance-mainstream market segments in Q1 2005. The new microprocessors will be based on the Prescott 2M core that brings 2MB L2 cache, Intel EM64T, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) as well as Execute Disable Bit (EDB) capability. The chips will be clocked at 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz, 3.60GHz and 3.80GHz and will be intended for infrastructure supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and TDP of up to 115W.

According to certain market sources, Intel’s Pentium 4 processors 600-series are unlikely to offer much higher performance compared to today’s Intel Pentium 4 processors 500-series with similar core speeds. However, 64-bit and EDB capabilities are likely to offer customers some additional useful functionality, while EIST is designed to compensate extensive heat-dissipation of Intel Pentium 4 chips at 90nm process technology.

High-end Intel Pentium 4 processors 6xx are to fill the gap of the discontinued Intel Pentium 4 processor 4.00GHz. The chips are currently projected to be introduced in late February. It is unclear, when Intel Corp. starts to ship the new products for revenue and when the VT capability is to be turned on.

Virtualization Needed - Intel

Virtualization allows a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions or “containers.” One physical compute system can function as multiple “virtual” systems. Vanderpool Technology can help improve future virtualization solutions.

Within the digital office and enterprise, businesses for example will be able to isolate a portion of a managed PC to perform system upgrades and maintenance without interrupting the end-user. IT managers could also create one desktop PC build that can function independently as both a business and personal system, keeping software loads and virus attacks separate, or one that runs different operating systems and software for different or legacy tasks. Multiple servers can be combined into one system, running different applications and operating systems, providing advantages for IT tasks such as server consolidation, legacy migration and security.

Home users could create virtual “partitions” isolating multiple user environments such as dedicating resources to a PC game, productivity, and personal video recorder-type environments, as well as improve defenses against viruses or spyware.

Vanderpool Technology (VT) is a set of hardware enhancements to Intel server and client platforms that can improve virtualization solutions.

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