AMD has unveiled the specifications of its upcoming Pacifica virtualisation technology, which allows one physical system to act as several separate entities.
The technology is common in high-end servers where it enables consolidation through the use of software from vendors including VMware and XenSource.
Adding virtualisation support to a processor allows the software to show an increase in performance.
As the technology moves to desktops and low-end servers it can enable new innovations and increased security, according to Martin Reynolds, a fellow with analyst firm Gartner.
"Home and business users will benefit from the technology, which will rapidly proliferate across the entire x86 market," he said. "It will transform the way that we use our PCs, more so than any other technology this decade."
Pacifica is slated for availability in the first half of 2006 for server and desktop systems.
Intel is scheduled to release a similar technology, codenamed Vanderpool, later this month with its 945G chipset for desktop processors. The technology is expected to reach the high-end Itanium 2 chips later this year and the Xeon line next year.
Intel generally uses a more conservative release schedule for new technologies, debuting them on the desktop and bringing them to more demanding enterprise systems at a later date.
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