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AMD To Release Virtualization Simulator

SimNow, an AMD64 processor simulator, will help developers get to know the company's Pacifica virtualization technology before it appears in chips starting next year.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. on Tuesday plans to release a simulator tool designed to provide software developers with access to features of the company's upcoming Pacifica virtualization technology.

AMD believes access to SimNow, an AMD64 processor simulator that includes its Pacifica code, will help create an ecosystem in support of AMD's processors and their new enhancements, says Margaret Lewis, commercial solutions strategist for AMD. AMD processors with Pacifica technology are expected to be available in the first half of 2006.

"This tool will allow a developer to start looking at what our processor technology looks like and then start developing their applications without having to have the actual piece of hardware in front of them," Lewis says.

Both AMD and Intel are adding virtualization capabilities to their processor within the next year. The microprocessor companies believe having embedded virtualization capabilities in the processor will enable more efficient creation of virtual processing environments in combination with use of virtualization software from such companies as Microsoft, VMware, and Xen.

"These developers can start testing and evaluating how their applications will perform in a Pacifica virtualization environment," she says. "This is really a seeding of the ecosystem, or a priming to get it ready."