Intel to introduce new virtualization capabilities with six-core CPU Nehalem

In the Q4 2008 Intell will introduce its first six-core CPU based on Penryn architecture: codename Dunnington. After that step, in 2009/2010, Intel will begin the production of the Nehalem CPU based on a brand new architecture.

Nehalem will introduces major benefits for virtualization environments like the replacement of the bottlenecking Front-Side Bus (FSB) with the new QuickPath Interconnect, which integrates the memory controller onto the processor die, and the capability to run two threads at the same time for each core.

On top of that Nehalem CPU will also bring new virtualization extensions to further enhance hypervisors capabilities. One of them is the Extended Page Tables (EPT), part of the VT-x technology, which reduces the overhead caused by the page-table virtualization.

Intel VT Roadmap
Intel EPT

All major virtualization vendors (VMware, Microsoft, the Xen community and all the related commercial entities) are working to support Intel EPT in upcoming versions of their hypervisors since the performance benefits are expected to be remarkable.