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Moving to 64bit computing

Posted: 07 Jan 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? computing systems? desktop system? 64bit technology? x86 architecture?

Thomson Chan

Director of Marketing Asia-Pacific, Advanced Micro Devices

At Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), we are committed to advancing the availability of technology in Asia. In October, we announced an R&D joint venture with China Basic Education Software Co. that address China's needs in order for them to provide powerful learning tools for students and teachers in classrooms.

This is just one example of why AMD is excited about the current technology revolution. At AMD, we see a number of trends of how businesses and institutions are using their computer systems that will revolutionize computing in the coming years.

First, applications are more powerful today and are becoming more so. Businesses have become increasingly demanding that theirsoftware applications are designed to work faster and tackle more tasks, boosting productivity and cutting costs. The notable increase of data that are collected, analyzed, stored, and managed is another trend. Enterprises utilize these processed data to make informed, critical, and real-time decisions to improve processes, supply chains, and customer relations.

These trends are accompanied by a continuing drop in prices of memory devices, making it possible to displace "big iron" mainframes and huge enterprise servers by clustering x86-based servers.

We believe these trends are leading straight to increased customer interest and demand for 64bit computing sooner than many observers think. The growing requirement for memory and data management capability alone is a large factor in bringing this about. As 32bit desktop systems and x86-based servers begin to reach the limit of their ability to meet real-time application demands, end users will have to address productivity and efficiency challenges.

We believe that the most widely adopted technology solutions are those that provide the greatest economic opportunity for the greatest number of industry participants. In the case of 64bit computing, we believe three conditions are critical:

? For manufacturers, broad adoption of 64bit technology must offer the opportunity of new market segments and higher margins.

? For software developers, broad adoption of 64bit technology must create increased demand for the next-generation of higher performance applications.

? For the enterprise, 64bit technology must present a compelling case for migration to a new architecture and promise increased productivity and the ability to efficiently scale to increasing dataset demands in the future.

Businesses have many computing needs ranging from simple desktop word processing to mission-critical data-intensive server applications. Until now, the decision to move to 64bit computing has been driven primarily by the requirements of mission-critical server applications. What will change with the adoption of an x86-based, 64bit solution is the cost and complexity of entry into 64bit server computing. Unlike existing 64bit server technologies, which are costly and proprietary, servers based on the industry standard x86 architecture can be built using standard, cost-effective commodity PC components.

AMD's 64bit strategy will offer our customers a simplified migration path by supporting existing 32bit applications while allowing businesses to transition to 64bit computing.





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