The chipmaker’s built-in Virtualization Technology, or VT, allows a platform to run multiple operating systems or applications in independent partitions that can be tailored for, say, IT management services or protecting networked assets.
VT support means enterprises can control a portion of a PC to run security or management services without interruption to the end user. A separate IT partition through which network traffic is filtered also may help enterprises from containing malicious code or viruses.
Some of Intel’s Xeon server processors already use VT, but this is the first time Intel is building the technology into its Pentium line of desktop processors.
Intel’s chief desktop rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc is expected to debut its version of virtualization, Pacifica, during the first half of next year.
Intel said two of its single-core Pentium 4 processors, the 672 and 662, have VT and are shipping in desktops from Asia-based OEMs Acer, Founder, Lenovo and TongFang. The chips are priced at $605 and $401, respectively, in 1,000-unit volume orders.
Santa Clara, California-based Intel expects to enable dual-core Pentium D processors with VT during the first quarter of 2006. Later in the year, Intel expects to have VT as part of its upcoming Professional Business Platform, codenamed Averill. VT would complement Intel’s other embedded Active Management Technology. Beyond that, Intel plans to build VT into its Centrino mobile platforms in 2006.
Intel also said that virtualization software makers VMware, Microsoft and Xen support VT.