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AMD Opteron Sets Out To Surf Virtualization Wave

Advanced Micro Devices is using the growing virtualization trend to help build mind share for its Opteron processor line among solution providers.

Barry Crume, director of the server/workstation business segment for AMD's microprocessor business unit, said 64-bit processors in 2005 and 2006 would incorporate advanced support for virtualization and enhance security.

Intel is also working on new virtualization and security technologies for its processors.

At CRN publisher CMP Media's XChange Tech Innovators, Crume said that servers running multiple
virtualization sessions will be important for solution providers taking advantage of the server consolidation movement in the enterprise.

AMD's planned hardware security, code-named Presidio, can keep hackers from finding loopholes in new virtualization techniques, Crume said. New technology, code-named Pacifica, would isolate specific memory blocks for each virtualization session to ensure that multiple instances of next-generation operating systems can run concurrently without performance degradation.

The technologies are key for AMD processors. Though the company has cultivated a larger share of the enterprise market with Opteron, a CPU that supports 32-bit and 64-bit instruction, overall market penetration is just a fraction of that maintained by market leader Intel.

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