AMD eyeing virtual machines, dual-core designs
I somehow neglected to mention a couple of revelations that came out of the talk by AMD's lead Hammer architect we reported on yesterday. One of the students asks McGrath about Intel's virtual machine tech, known as VT or Vanderpool Technology. For those of you not familiar, VT is a hardware facility similar to what VMWare does in software. From Intel's own mouth:
Vanderpool Technology (VT), the codename for a set of hardware enhancements to the processor and chipset that help improve the resilience and reliability of the platform, is expected to deliver a more manageable office computing environment. When combined with the appropriate software, VT enables multiple, independent software environments (called partitions) inside a single PC.
AMD's McGrath answers the question by saying he believes virtual machines will be the Next Big Thing in the x86 world, and confirms that AMD is looking very seriously at the technology.
Another student asks about dual-core processor designs (aka chip multiprocessing or CMP), and McGrath answers unequivocally that Hammer was designed for dual core "right from the beginning." "That capability is there," he says, as if he were ready to make it happen anytime. We mostly knew the Hammer could go multi-core, but seeing this statement from the man himself is clear confirmation.
If you have time, go watch the lecture yourself. Other homework for you: this presentation by one of the architects of the Intel P6.