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WE RECENTLY REPORTED that Windows XP mode, which will allow certain XP apps to run on the Vole's upcoming Windows 7, may not work on a number of Intel chips, especially those in consumer laptops. Now AMD too has confessed to having chips that won't run XP mode. AMD says all of its CPUs with the exception of its very low-end Sempron and Turion K8 Rev E processors will include AMD-V, the firm's hardware-based virtualisation technology needed to support XP mode. "With the exceptions of Sempron-branded processors and Turion K8 Rev E processors, all notebook processors shipped by AMD include AMD-V and therefore support Windows 7 XP mode," AMD noted, adding that in the desktop space only Sempron-branded processors and pre-Rev F Athlon branded processors would not support XP mode. All Opteron processors, claimed AMD, would include AMD-V and thereby would support XP mode.Whereas Intel would have consumers believe this is all quite irrelevant because installing a high end OS like Win 7 Enterprise, Professional or Ultimate on a lower end processor is unlikely, the key difference is Chipzilla's non mode-ular offerings are priced around the $600 to $899 portable range, whilst AMD's Sempron line lappies cost about $329. So AMD's non-compatible chips really are low end, whilst Intel's non-compatible offerings are sold in more mid-range kit. AMD also reckons Windows 7 will be able to take advantage of its RVI (Rapid Virtualisation Indexing), for better virtual management when hypervisors, guest OSs and other apps are brought into the mix. Both Intel's VT virtualization tech and AMD's AMD-V are actually just BIOS settings which AMD says system makers tend to switch off in their machines before shipping. Also, said AMD, to be fair, the whole issue is not just a hardware one, as chipmakers share their designs with software makers well in advance, who are supposed to make sure their programmes are compatible. This makes the recent XP mode issue a relatively rare beast, as there are usually few, if any, compatibility problems between chips and software, said AMD.
AMD markets its virtualization extensions to the 64-bit x86 architecture as AMD Virtualization, abbreviated AMD-V. It is still referred to as "Pacifica", the AMD internal project code name.AMD-V operates on AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 with family "F" or "G" on socket AM2 (not 939), Turion 64 X2, Opteron 2nd generation and 3rd-generation, Phenom, and all newer processors. Sempron processors do not include support for AMD-V.On May 23, 2006, AMD released the Athlon 64 ("Orleans"), the Athlon 64 X2 ("Windsor") and the Athlon 64 FX ("Windsor") as the first AMD processors to support AMD-V. Prior processors do not have AMD-V.