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 ?
"The initial ARM processors on tablets running Windows 8 will be 32-bit, but the ARMv8 announcement assures customers that 64-bit processors are on the way," said McCarron.
Microcontroller and touch solutions provider Atmel Corporation (Nasdaq:ATML) announced on Tuesday a new integrated platform of development tools for its community of over 100,000 users of 8- and 32-bit AVR embedded microcontrollers (MCUs).
* Availability for MATLAB for both Microsoft Windows[R] 32-bit & 64-bit and Linux 32-bit & 64-bit; compatability with MATLAB versions 2007a, 2007b and 2008a.
64-bit processors are theoretically capable of accessing 2^64 locations in memory, or 16 exabytes of virtual memory, over 4 billion times that of 32-bit processors While 64-bit processors obviously remove the virtual memory ceiling inherent to 32-bit processors, to take advantage of the larger memory addresses in 64-bit processors you must have a 64-bit operating system like Windows Vista x64 Windows Vista x64 imposes a more practical 16TB limit on address space as it is extremely unlikely that you will ever need the full 16-exabyte capacity.
PowerCenter 8 is reportedly available on the following platforms: Windows 32-bit, Windows on Itanium, Solaris 32-bit, Solaris 64-bit, Solaris on x64/Opteron, AIX 32-bit, AIX 64-bit, HP/UX 32-bit, HP/UX 64-bit/Itanium, SuSe Linux on 64-bit, Redhat Linux 32-bit, Redhat Linux 64-bit.
More than 4.3 GB of memory (the 32-bit address limit) can now be addressed, and high-precision or large numbers are processed in 64-bit rather than 32-bit digit chunks for faster computation.
The 32-bit RISC core now operates at frequencies up to 200 MHz in Virtex-4 FPGAs delivering an impressive 25 percent increase in core performance compared to previous versions.
Available for download at http://www.nvidia.com, NVIDIA ForceWare is designed to provide native performance for both 32-bit and 64-bit software applications, granting business users the benefit of long-term investment protection as these systems are designed to enable seamless transition from a 32-bit to 64-bit environment.
This will provide the company's customers with a 32-bit computing environment which can also support 64-bit operations.
Now the hardware, mostly 32-bit Intel microprocessors, has to catch up to the 64-bit Unix performance on reduced instruction set computing (RISC) microprocessors.
The company's controllers can run in 32-Bit and 64-Bit PCI slots.
But AMD claims its strategy will offer users the option of a simpler upgrade to 64-bits which maintains compatibility with the existing x86 32-bit installed base of applications and operating systems.