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Intel Adds Virtualization To The Desktop

Ready or not, Intel on Monday will roll-out its first processors to integrate its virtualization technology, part of the emerging "embedded IT architecture" the company has been promoting for the past two years. Virtualization technology, or VT, will make its first entry on the desktop, however, not on Intel's server processors where virtualization software and implementation from other companies is more mature.

Intel is embedding VT in two single-core Pentium 4 processors. Acer, Founder, Lenovo, and TongFang are expected to make PCs using the processors available soon. A much broader introduction of VT-enabled Pentium-based PCs is expected in early 2006 when Intel promises to introduce dual-core Pentium 4 devices with integrated VT functionality.

The inclusion of VT in Xeon processors for the server market is not expected until the first half of 2006. Intel also plans to extend VT to its Centrino mobile platform next year.

Patrick Bohart, VT marketing manager for Intel, says the company is responding to requests from computer vendors and virtualization software providers to get its VT technology into the market as quickly as possible to enable initial productions of pilot systems and for the testing of new software that can take advantage of VT.

VT is part of what Intel has called its embedded IT architecture. Initial processors with VT also will include active management technology, which stores hardware and software information in non-volatile memory to allow IT departments to better discover assts, remotely fix problems, and improve virus protection. Other embedded IT technologies, such as improved security functions, are expected to be added over the course of the next 18 months.

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