Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) took the wraps off a simulator that allows Linux programmers to develop code for its forthcoming "Hammer" family of 64-bit microprocessors, Friday.
The simulator SimNow! mimics the behaviour of AMD's 64-bit microprocessors and enables software firms to port existing 32-bit applications to the new hardware before launch.
AMD's 64-bit chips are X86 compatible unlike those of its main rival Intel, which has created a new instruction set called EPIC for its 64-bit microprocessors, the first of which is Itanium. The Hammer family will also be capable of running in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode, the 64-bit mode having 64-bit address space and 64-bit data space.
Sixty-four-bit computing improves computer performance by allowing data to be moved about in larger pieces. The technology is most important for high performance computers such as servers and graphics machines.
AMD appears especially keen to see Linux developers move their high performance applications to the Hammer family and has involved the open source community in creating the simulator for GNU/Linux, cooperating with SuSE Linux and CodeSourcery.
"AMD is committed to supporting the Linux community and is proud of the Linux partners also supporting x86-64 technology," says vice president and general manager of AMD's Texas microprocessor division, Richard Heye.
The Hammer processors are set to be launched at the end of 2001. SimNow! is available from www.x86-64.org.
See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including interactive roadmaps for AMD, Intel and Transmeta.
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