Virtualization technologies provide compelling benefits across a wide range of areas, from compute-intensive enterprise environments to energy efficient mobile platforms. From enabling workload consolidation in the data center to providing security and content protection on mobile and home entertainment platforms, virtualization is increasingly important. This paper provides an introduction to hardware and software virtualization technologies and their applications, and introduces the MIPS Virtualization (VZ) module—a simple and flexible hardware-based solution incorporated in the MIPS architecture. The paper describes how MIPS’ solution can efficiently address a broad range of applications without the significant performance impact commonly associated with virtualized solutions.