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 ?
Nowadays more and more mobile end-user devices are powered by 64-bit architecture.
SAS Enterprise BI Server, one of the first major enterprise business intelligence solutions released capable of operating on a 64-bit architecture, continues to offer the widest choice of operating systems and hardware by any BI vendor for companies looking for a flexible deployment environment that is able to meet their business needs now and in the future.
For about a grand, the 64-bit SunBlade 150 comes with a 550- or 650-MHz UItraSPARC III processor and up to 2 GB of RAM.
The Opteron chip, the first microprocessor to natively support both 32- and 64-bit applications, represents both an enormous challenge for the struggling chip maker (the company has been losing money for years) and a significant challenge to Intel, the world's biggest chip maker and the OEM with a stranglehold on the desktop market--and large market share in the enterprise as well.
an international provider of legacy application extension solutions, has announced the availability of the ACUCOBOLGT development system for 64-bit SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on IBM eServer zSeries servers.
Till now, these computers were typically 64-bit Unix systems.
RAID controller manufacturer ICP Vortex is now shipping 64-Bit PCI- Wide/Ultra 160 SCSI RAID Controllers with clustering support.
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.
The migration of these core business applications to the AMD64 platform will help ensure enterprise customers have access to x86-based 64-bit software optimized for improving e-business and enterprise resource planning (ERP).