AMD's best chance to break into the business PC market will begin on Sept. 23 when its 64-bit Athlon processor for desktops and mobile PCs is scheduled for release. The chipmaker touts the key point that its 64-bit architecture also runs 32-bit software, switching between both platforms effortlessly, without any emulation layer.
AMD is the only major chipmaker developing 64-bit chips for desktops. Once code-named "ClawHammer," the Athlon64 processor for desktops is designed to usher in a new generation of high-performance applications. Meanwhile, its formidable competitor, Intel, sees no need for 64-bit in desktop PCs anytime soon. The case for 64-bit architecture in servers and workstations is in itself a dilemma for enterprises deciding on a path to an infrastructure upgrade; so whether or not it is justifiable in a desktop environment, at least for the next few years, will surely require thorough ROI analysis.