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Intel's Virtual Gambit

Specs give developers guidelines for designing virtualization features
Intel last week released the preliminary Vanderpool Technology External Architecture specifications to facilitate system design collaboration. The specs provide overviews and guidance to software developers who are designing virtualization features for IA-32 and Itanium-based processors.

Intel also said that in addition to offering Vanderpool technology in Itanium-based platforms this year, it will show up in Pentium 4-based desktop processors and chipsets in 2005, a year earlier than previously planned. Vanderpool is scheduled for Xeon in 2006.

Virtualization lets a computer run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions or containers.

Details of third-party development efforts are expected to be disclosed at the Intel Developer Forum, scheduled for March in San Francisco. Bill Kirby, director of desktop products marketing at Intel, says, "We actually have a pretty robust effort ongoing regarding the ecosystem."