32-bit computing

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32-bit computing

CPUs that process 32 bits as a single unit, compared to 8, 16 or 64. Although 32-bit CPUs were used in mainframes as early as the 1960s, personal computers began to migrate from 16 to 32 bits in the 1980s. Starting with the first 32-bit 386 chips in 1985, Intel x86 CPUs were built with a 16-bit mode for compatibility with 16-bit applications (see 386).

The 32-bit mode does not result in two times as much real work getting done as in 16-bit mode, because it relates to only one aspect of internal processing. The CPU's clock speed, along with the speed, size and architecture of the disks, memory and peripheral bus all play important roles in a computer's performance (see throughput). See 64-bit computing and bit specifications.

References in periodicals archive ?
AMD (NYSE:AMD) has announced that 64-bit versions of software applications Crafty and The Panorama Factory running on the beta version of the upcoming Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP 64-bit Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems demonstrate significant increases in performance, up to 57 percent for the Panorama Factory, compared to 32-bit software versions.
Today, high-performance 32-bit Intel chips (Xeon and the Pentium 4) hold their own against RISC/Unix workstations.
The chip offers the ability to run both existing (and new) 32-bit applications while at the same time adopting more advanced 64-bit software as it becomes available.
0 provides both 16-bit and 32-bit tools that enable developers to build high-performance applications for current and future versions of Windows.
AMD Opteron processor Model 248 delivers leading 32-bit performance for 2-way servers
today described a new line of "SOC Kernels" aimed at developers of 32-bit System-on-Chip products.
The VS2000 feature set includes a 60 MHz 32-bit Lightfoot RISC CPU core, 10/100 Ethernet MAC with a 4KB frame buffer SRAM, external memory controller with 32MB addressing range, configurable 8- or 32-bit external memory bus, glueless interface including four individually-programmed chip selects, two cache controllers, two UARTS, three SPI ports, watchdog timer, real-time clock and interrupt controller.
CHICAGO -- Neal Nelson & Associates, a Chicago area computer performance consulting firm, has announced test results that show a possible 37 percent throughput advantage when a Web-based application is run under the 32-bit version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL), in comparison to the same machine running a 64-bit version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.
With this line, Sharp provides four unique microcontrollers with the performance of 32-bit ARM7TDMI-S cores, yet requiring only 16-bit designed circuit boards and memory devices, saving in system design costs.
The ARC Player Subsystem is the first in the industry to offer an MPEG-4 video decoder and multi-standard audio codecs coupled with a configurable 32-bit microprocessor as a pre-verified solution.
AMD also showed 32-bit Microsoft Office XP running on the upcoming 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating system and demonstrated the ability to access data and files between both 32- and 64-bit applications.
ThreadX ranked especially high among general-purpose, hard real-time operating systems for ARM, MIPS, and ColdFire 32-bit architectures, based on data from the survey, conducted in March, 2006.