writes "Intel's Pat Gelsinger revealed all sorts of information about the upcoming Penryn today. The 45nm processor family will support SSE4 and offer better virtualization performance:
At the same conference, Gelsinger also talked about the 45nm Nehalem core, Penryn's successor. Among the disclosures came the fact that Nehalem will sport an on-die memory controller, as well as integrated graphics processor.
Right now, a lot of folks who're testing out VT have been disappointed that its performance isn't much better than existing, non-VT-based virtualization solutions like VMware. Specifically, VMware products use a binary translation engine that ingests regular x86 OS code and produces a "safe" subset; VMware claims that this binary translation approach is as fast as, or faster, than VT-based approaches because the OS doesn't have to do costly VM transitions in order to execute privileged instructions. (These claims are debated; I'm merely reporting the fact that they are made.)
A major decrease in VM transition times will help the performance of VT-based solutions like Xen, and it would make the "which virtualization package to use?" debate even more about managment and less about relative performance than it already is.
Reading between the lines on this comment and others, I can say with a pretty high degree of certainty Intel will almost certainly be using its packaging skills to put a GPU in the same package as a Nehalem CPU. Furthermore, this is going to help out with mobile products, small-form-factor devices (*cough* Apple), and anywhere else that power and cooling are more critical than raw performance. I'd expect that such CPU/GPU devices will cut down on the number of on-die cores that you can put on the CPU die (for power dissipation reasons).