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Intel Corp. revealed introduction roadmap of its virtualization technology at its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Apparently, single-core desktop chips will be the first to feature the technology later this year, however, already next year Intel incorporates capability across the board.

The first processors to come equipped with Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) will be Intel Pentium 4 processors 600-series with 3.60GHz and 3.80GHz clock-speed, according to a slide Intel demonstrated during the IDF. It is yet unclear when exactly Intel launches its chips with virtualization enabled, furthermore, it is unknown which platforms will be able to support the technology. 

Sometime late this year, or early next year, Intel plans to enable Intel Itanium 2-based server platforms with virtualization technology, which is likely to be very important for enterprise customers of the chipmaker. 

In the first half of next year virtualization capability will be available across all platforms Intel ships, including Intel Xeon DP/MP servers, Intel Pentium D desktops and Intel Centrino notebooks. It is possible, however, that not all the forthcoming processors and core-logic products support virtualization technology.

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.

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.

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

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