Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and software firm Virtutech announced Tuesday they created a software tool that will enable developers to produce applications for AMD's next generation of processors codenamed "Hammer".
Intel rival AMD said the tool, dubbed "VirtuHammer", would enable software developers to test programs written for the 64-bit Hammer architecture in time for the planned introduction of the processors in the first half of 2002.
Virtutech Simics software allows computers with AMD's 32-bit Athlon processors simulate the operations performed by its 64-bit range, which use the x86-64 instruction set.
"The developer community has expressed tremendous interest in the x86-64 instruction set and the Hammer family of processors, with more than 100,000 users having visited the x86-64.org website since the specification was released last August," said Fred Weber, vice president of engineering for the Computation Products Group at AMD in a statement.
Processors using 64-bit technology can handle chunks of data at a greater speed, enabling more power-hungry applications such as large databases to run more quickly. This technology makes the chips attractive to the server market.
Competition between Intel and arch-rival AMD has moved from the desktop to the high-end computing arena, with both firms readying 64-bit hardware.
Intel has created a new instruction set to power its forthcoming 64-bit range of processors, known as IA-64, called EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing).
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