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Sun helps AMD to Hammer Intel

64-bit software guide released

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AMD has released a manual in PDF format to allow software developers to migrate their code to its 64-bit Hammer microprocessor platform.

And, in one of twists and turns that makes the computer industry endlessly fascinating, it has enlisted the support of Sun Microsystems, which has endorsed the x86-64 architecture for its Solaris operating system.

Right up in the second paragraph of a press release issued by AMD, Sun's VP for Solaris, Anil Gadre, says his company is "very excited" by Hammer technology.

In February we were first to disclose a very public spat between Intel and Sun over Solaris. Intel then accused Sun of not doing enough work to port Solar to its own 64-bit technology.

AMD Hammer technology is not likely to be as daunting a task for software developers as the Itanium has been (and perhaps still is).

The Hammer platform includes what AMD describes as "enhancements" to the x86 architecture which includes a 64-bit mode with a 64-bit address space and a 64-bit data space, allowing auto-detection of whether 32-bit or 64-bit functionality is needed. This, claims AMD, is an evolutionary approach, implying that Intel's IA-64 strategy is a tad too revolutionary.

AMD will use the LinuxWorld conference in San Jose to promote the manual, but the PDF is available now, at this place.

Meanwhile, there is excellent explanatory material of the content of the PDF at Sandpile. ®

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