64-bit

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64-bit

(architecture)
A term describing a computer architecture based around an ALU, registers and data bus which are 64 bits wide.

64-bit processors were quite common in 1996, e.g. Digital Alpha, versions of Sun SPARC, MIPS, IBM AS/4000. the PowerPC and Intel were expected to move to 64 bits at their next generation - PPC 620 and Intel P7.

A 64-bit address bus allows the processor to address 18 million gigabytes as opposed to the mere 4 gigabytes allowed with 32 bits. There were in 1996 already hard disks which can hold over 4GB. Floating point calculations can also be more accurate.

A 64-bit OS is needed as well to take advantage of the CPU. In 1996 there were only a few 64-bit operating systems, including OS/400, Digital Unix, Solaris (partialy). A 32-bit OS can run on a 64-bit CPU.
References in periodicals archive ?
Samsung Galaxy A Series composed of Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 was leaked and reported to feature 64-bit processor chipsets.
Despite the availability of a 64-bit processor, most of the Windows 8.
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earlier today over PR Newswire, we are advised by the company that the second paragraph, third sentence should read, "The new systems offer the UltraSPARC(R) IIi 64-bit processor with 512KB on chip Level 2 cache, up from 256KB; either 550 MHz or 650 MHz processor speed, up from 500 MHz; 4GB of max memory, up from 2GB; and 36GB hard drives, up from 18GB," rather than, "The new systems offer the UltraSPARC(R) III 64-bit processor with 512KB on chip Level 2 cache, up from 256KB; either 550 MHz or 650 MHz processor speed, up from 500 MHz; 4GB of max memory, up from 2GB; and 36GB hard drives, up from 18GB," as originally issued inadvertently.
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