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BOSTON—Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is partnering with XenSource Inc. to bring an open-source virtualization option to its 64-bit Opteron processors. AMD will port the Xen virtualization package to Opteron later in the first half of the year, company officials announced Tuesday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here.

“Virtualization is more and more a key attribute that data centers are looking for,” said Ben Williams, vice president of AMD’s commercial server and workstation group in the company’s Microprocessor Business Unit.

XenSource’s Xen hypervisor enables users to run multiple operating systems on a single machine, keeping the various virtual environments isolated from each other.

The partnership with XenSource is the latest step AMD is making in the area of virtualization, Williams said.

The company already is working with VMware Inc. to increase virtualization in its Opteron platform, and the next generation of AMD64 chips—code-named Pacifica—will offer additional support at the processor level for virtual environments, as will upcoming enhancements in AMD’s single- and dual-core chips, he said.

VMware “aces” virtual desktops with its ACE software. Click here to read eWEEK Labs’ review.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is planning to roll out dual-core Opterons—which will have two processing cores on a single die—midyear. AMD has been shipping samples of the dual-core chips to OEMs since last month. At the show, Hewlett-Packard Co., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Cray Inc. each demonstrated systems running dual-core Opterons.

Also at the show, AMD announced new Opteron processors—models 152, 252 and 852—with faster HyperTransport speed up to 1GHz for better communication between processors.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., this week rolled out three new servers—including two blade systems—and a workstation based on the new Opteron processors.

In addition, Sun an-nounced it is outfitting its Sun Fire V20z and V40z and Java Workstation W2100z with the new chips.

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