Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Feb 2006 18:27 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Hardware, Embedded Systems Intel and AMD once again are angling for leadership in virtualization, technology that increases a computer's efficiency by letting it run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Intel is expected to declare this week that its Virtualization Technology is mature enough for testing and about three months away from prime time. But AMD, whose rival "Pacifica" technology won't debut in processors until midway through this year, is trying to set its own technology as a standard for virtualization of computer communications, an element not present in Intel's VT.
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Pacifica Better ?
by PLan on Tue 7th Feb 2006 20:04 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

If you're working in the virtualisation field Pacifica seems far more interesting than VT -

Part 1
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23721

Part 2
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23772

Part 3
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23840

Reply Score: 5

RE: Pacifica Better ?
by Hands on Wed 8th Feb 2006 17:05 in reply to "Pacifica Better ?"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

For those who would like a summary of the inq links:

Due to the design decisions made by AMD when creating the K8 architecture, they have some tools that Intel does not have. AMD has an integrated memory controller on the CPU, and the CPU has hypertransport connections ("direct connect architecture"). There are of course other differences in the design, but these two are the most obvious in relation to virtualization.

AMD can virtualize memory management completely within the CPU because all memory access is done through the CPU. They came up with two different ways of handling memory virtualization. One is more software-oriented while the other is more hardware-oriented. Intel's memory virtualization management must be done completely through software at the moment. This can be a big deal with a guest OS that uses a significant amount of memory.

Due to the direct connections that hypertransport makes possible between devices and the CPU, device handling can be both more simple as well as complex depending on the situation. Virtualization adds a layer of complexity to this situation just as it adds complexity in other areas. Therefore, AMD included tools to help handle devices between host and guest operating systems.

Pacifica does seem to have advantages over VT, but those advantages are only possible because of there are design differences between the chips in the first place. If AMD hadn't added the capabilities that make Pacifica more compelling, virtualization with an AMD chip could possibly have been more cumbersome and been less appealing than with a VT enabled Intel chip.

Reply Parent Score: 1