Understanding AMD Virtualization Technology

The AMD Virtualization technology is among the current five available and essential hardware virtualization technologies. In most cases, AMD-V technology similarly functions like the virtual machine managers (VMMs). Apparently, this specific type of hardware virtualization (AMD-V) technology functions by emulating and simplifying software through AMD Athlon 64 enhancements and Opteron instruction set.

It was in 2004 that AMD-V was initially announced to the public, under the codename, “Pacifica.” On the other hand, its technical details were then finally released in mid-2005.

Specifically, AMD-V appears in various kinds of processors. These processors include AMD Athlon 64 with family “F” and “G” (on socket AM2 not 939); Athlon 64 X2 with family “F” and “G”; Turion 64 X2; both Opteron 2nd generation and 3rd generation; Phenom; and other newer processors.

Moreover, AMD has even published a standard requirement for a specified technology, which is the IO Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) to AMD-V technology. Such specification basically offers a means of configuring the interrupt delivery to single virtual machines. Also, an IO memory translation unit is effective in averting a virtual machine against DMA use to break isolation. In addition, IOMMU plays a significant role both in advanced operating systems (absent virtualization) and the AMD Torrenza architecture.

Generally, the AMD-V technology has remarkably given AMD developers with a substantial sense of fulfillment. Thus, developers were even more determined to continue with their collaborative efforts to further enhance AMD-V technology. The enhancement was consequently achieved by sharing AMD-V specification publicly through licensed-availability across the software and hardware development community.

And like any other types of hardware-assisted virtualization technology, AMD-V is also capable to make the operating system (OS) have direct access to necessary resources without any OS adjustments or emulation.