AMD Previews Pacifica, But Does Not Let the Specs Out

AMD Pacifica – Processor’s and Memory Controller’s Peculiarities

by Anton Shilov
03/30/2005 | 03:44 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday disclosed some facts about its virtualization technology in front of software developers and some analysts. The main message AMD sent is that the tech internally called Pacifica is a set of microprocessor and memory controller features that is similar to Intel’s virtualization technology called Vanderpool.

 

“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,” AMD’s executive Marty Seyer said.

Pacifica will extend AMD64 technology to enhance the virtualization experience by introducing a new model and features into the processor and memory controller, according to AMD. This may potentially mean that the general principles in Advanced Micro Devices’ chips that sport virtualization will remain the same as those with the AMD64 breed of processors.

AMD officials said the technology in Pacifica and Intel Virtualization Technology is similar enough so that hypervisor makers will be able to run their software on both without any tweaking, according to an eWeek report.

Pacifica is designed to efficiently run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions, essentially allowing one compute system to function as multiple “virtual” systems.

Pacifica technology 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.

Today’s disclosure about “Pacifica” precedes the general availability of the “Pacifica” specification, planned for April, 2005.