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Will Intel Ship an x86-64bit Chip This Year?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the backward-compatible dept.

Intel 336

Solid Paradox writes "According to The Register, American Technology Research predicts an x86-64-bit processor will 'soon' arrive from Intel and in another story, they also predict that Sun and IBM will be the major players in the future 64-bit boom. Meanwhile the Inquirer has a somewhat related article entitled Senior Intel PR man talks 64-bit extension talk, which follows their Pentium V will launch with 64-bit Windows Elements article that says that the chip is to be sampled internally this month."

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AMD (-1, Flamebait)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879902)

AMD dominates Intel so much now, I can't see intel coming back with anything good anytime soon. First post? *cough*

Re:AMD (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879926)

> AMD dominates Intel so much now eh... It is year 2004, right?

Re:AMD (0, Troll)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879937)

What? We've just moved most of our workstattions from Athlon XP to Pentium 4 because of poor application support for AMD.

AMD are making excellent products, but fear, laziness and general inertia are keeping Intel in front just like they're keeping Microsoft in front. I wish it would change but my experience suggests otherwise.

Re:AMD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879964)

poor application support?

someone mod this guy into oblivion.

or perhaps the parent would like to explain what he means by "application support"?

-typing this from my INTEL based M50 precision notebook.

Re:AMD (0, Flamebait)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879985)

Specifically - our DPS Reality DDRs are NOT SUPPORTED running on AMD systems. We use Pentium 4 or we get not support.

I know that these issues have little bearing in your mom's basement, but in the real world shit like this MATTERS.

Re:AMD (0)

Caeda (669118) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880123)

And it's amd's problem how? Seems you should get on the ass of the company that makes the fucked up card that they decide doesnt work with amd, not amd for having their own proccessor. In the real world morons like you figure that out without making retarted posts like that.

Re:AMD (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880140)

That's EXACTLY AMD's problem. People like me can't buy their gear even though we'd like to because third party developers don't bother to support AMD CPUs.

Funnily enough, it's not my business to crusade on AMD's behalf, I have actual work to do. I'd far rather use a Mac anyway.

Re:AMD (1)

jarryd (655609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880012)

I find they only really "dominate" in with 64 bit architexture with their Opteron, but again, Intel hasn't yet released their own "desktop" 64bit cpu.

Intel (as far as I know) are trying to increase cpu speed and reduce the die (or the cpu) size.

Re:AMD (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880219)

And this is differnt from the rest of there ground brakeing efforts how exactly =>

Itanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879904)

Isnt Itanium a x86-64-bit processor?

Re:Itanium (5, Informative)

urmensch (314385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879932)

No, It is a new arch (Intel Architexture, IA64) - That's one of the big deals about the AMD 64 bit chip, it is x86 compatible.

Re:Itanium (4, Informative)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880041)

Elaborating slightly on this, the Itanium is a "VLIW" chip, which is a wholly different way of doing computation compared to the more usual "superscalar" paradigm. That's why it wasn't compatible with the x86, that's why they targeted it at servers doing heavy computation etc. The AMD chip, on the other hand, can support x86 relatively easily by including a "morphing layer" (I think that's the name) which maps x86 instructions to the native instructions of the chip. So they're able to target desktops.

what are you going to do with it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879906)

i didnt realise that a word processor and web browser/email would need a 64bit processor

Gloem is alive and lining his pockets

Am I gay? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879910)

I like to look at cocks, I like to touch cocks and I like to suck cocks. Does that make me gay?

Re:Am I gay? (-1, Offtopic)

Sexy Bern (596779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879930)

Only if you're male.

Pentium V (5, Funny)

GameGod0 (680382) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879912)

Quoted from the article:
"The Pentium V is likely to fly along at between 5GHz to 7GHz, have 2MB plus of level two cache, be built on a 90 nanometer process, and have a stackable design." So, you'll have a 64-bit module sitting on top of your 32-bit CPU?
Sounds like Sega's 32X to me... except it'll play Doom 1 faster.

Re:Pentium V (1)

builderbob_nz (728755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879938)

64 bit on 32 bit, sounds similar to the old 32 bit API/overlay systems for running DOS games. Makes me wonder how much of a mess this will make of the instruction set.

Re:Pentium V (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880108)

Except the 32bit api/overlay system you speak of was actually a loader which put the processor into 32 bit protected mode and setup a nice playing environment for applications instead of having to roll your own implementation each time. If 64bit mode on the new x86 chips is enabled similiar to how 32bit mode is enabled currently then there is no need to care. Remember when NT4/Win95 came out dos4gw became a thing of the past...

Re:Pentium V (2, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879943)

And like most other good Vs (eg V8 and to some extent V6) it'll cost more than most people are prepared to pay.

Especially considering that to date the HUMONGOUS push by Intel to rev up dem CPUs hase done nothing more than prove beyond any shadow of unertainty that high-RPM engines do not necessarily give the best performance.

Anyone here old enough to remember the trend towards "turbo charged" engines not so long ago? How many of them are still around?

Re:Pentium V (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879958)

Turbo charged engines are very much alive. Almost every diesel engine has a turbo.

Re:Pentium V (5, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879970)

Turbos? Yes, they're around, and quite common too. Difference is, they're not pushed as some kind of macho add-on anymore; instead, the technology is mainly used to improve efficiency (by, among other things, improving accelleration so you can use a smaller, more efficient engine and retain the performance you want). And among small diesels (common in Europe), I'd say turbo diesels are a lot more common than the non-turbocharged variety.

Re:Pentium V (-1, Redundant)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880035)

There's no point trying to bring rational though and facts into this discussion, the grandparent is trying to make some feeble point about the superiority of American cars, thereby reinforcing his ego with national pride.

The fact that what he's writing is complete nonsense is of little consequence.

Re:Pentium V (0, Offtopic)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880024)

Saabs are all turbocharged. Subaru's got a few (WRX, STi) and Mitsubishi's got the Evolution. Mazdaspeed's Protege is turbocharged. And nearly every deisel on the road is turbocharged.

Considering that the Evo and STi are two of the best performing cars available in the US right now, it may be time for you to consider changing your attitude and paying attention to what's under the hood.

Re:Pentium V (-1, Offtopic)

JPriest (547211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880151)

Not to mention that both the Evo and STi get better gas mileage than most of the cars they leave in the dust. The grandparent critiques high-RPM engines but the truth is they offer more horsepower with less weight and use less gas when "idle". Small high RPM and turbocharged engines are the future of the automotive industry. Not to mention that they also better compliment hybrid engine designs, which will be making huge inroads to mainstream over the next 4 years.

The perform the same, really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880098)

Both high-revving and high-torque, low-rpm engines pretty much perform exactly the same. The great equalizer being the gearbox (transmission). You don't have to believe me though, it's common racing knowledge. Instead of doing all the research work for you (cuz /. geeks are just soooo lazy to do any of it themselves) I'll give you this here link [] to a book that explains all. If you actually give a damn about facts and truth, you should read it

Re:Pentium V (1)

vpscolo (737900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880007)

and the 32x only had about 6 decent games in its entire life Rus

Re:Pentium V (4, Interesting)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880015)

So, you'll have a 64-bit module sitting on top of your 32-bit CPU?

I've been speculating (here and elsewhere) that this stackable thing is not going to be Intel's next big thing. I believe that the stacked module will simply contain NVRAM and not a 64-bit coprocessor. Why NVRAM? Well, it opens up some interesting possibilities. For example, if you had enough NVRAM on-chip (or reasonably close in terms of latentcy and bandwidth), you could simply shut down portions of the processor on-the-fly to save power. You could also stick the entire operating system on the stuff. The possibilities are amazing. If you haven't looked already, see my journal [] for much information on the subject as it relates to Intel.

Of recent interest are some [] presentations [] by Intel on NVRAM. Of interest is that they've announced that they've found that OUM will take them beyond transistors in one presentation while another presentation actually shows a transistorless cell that is quite simple (two electrodes and a programming material sandwiched in between).

A transistorless storage device could be the piece that stacks onto the P5.

Re:Pentium V , modems (1)

tomatobasil (576515) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880129)

7 Ghz - Cool beans - so how fast will it *feel if I ram it thru the same old 56k modem with the usual awesome 4k sustained thruput rate ?

Re:Pentium V (1)

doubleyewdee (633486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880159)

And like the 32X nobody is going to be interested. Either people will buy the 32-bit unstacked version and never change it (but if Windows 64 shows up in 2004, why bother with 32 bits?) or you'll have to buy the pre-stacked system, which will almost certainly cost significantly more than a single-chip AMD x86-64 solution.

I remember in the early 90s the crud you could buy to turn your 486/33 into a 486/66 DX2 processor. Even then these products were not wildly popular, and at that time it was significantly more expensive to do anything else (and there was no real x86 competition). These days, such a product would doubtlessly be unpopular. Hobbyists will know better, and general consumers are sometimes afraid to even look at the back of their computer, let alone open it up and pop something onto their CPUs.

If Intel is really doing this 'add-on' stuff, I think they're going to end up getting hurt in a pretty significant way unless they can keep cost down on the add-on components. Even then it seems like useless complexity, a hesitation to commit to a standard that may well cost them big.

Better Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879913)

Will Intel not make shitty chips, but have a killer marketing squad to convence people they're good, and instead just make good chips, ever?

YES! (0, Redundant)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879914)

Not that I'd know one way or the other...

Stack size (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879918)

Darn, my stack size is about to double...

I guess recursive algorithms are about the become a memory hog.

Re:Stack size (1)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880119)

The return address will grow to 64-bit but the parameters to your recursive routines need not be that big.

Just in time for... (0, Flamebait)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879927)

LongHorn. Or is that "lower horn"? If the XP hardware jump was any indicator, they're gonna need it.

But... (3, Interesting)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879929)

Can it do hardware 32bit as well? Currently the Intel Itanium 64 bit chip has to emulate 32bit for applications that are not 64bit compliant, and therefore the AMD64 which can do hardware 64 and 32 bit sweeps the floor.

Plus, who is ready to receive 64 bit chips? Windows isn't quite yet there with their 64 bit OS, and many linux distros only have beta quality 64 bit OS'es.


Re:But... (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879973)

I thin the "x86-64" in the title is supposed to imply that it can cope with all x86 apps

(Typing on a dodgy eyboard with no woring "cay" or "dot")

Re:But... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879983)

Sorry - forgot to add "natively"

Windows XP 64-bit (4, Insightful)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879931)

But will MS write their 64-bit XP to work on Athlon 64 and the new Intel chip, or will we have three different versions (Itanium, Athlon 64 and Intel x86-64)? At this rate Windows will become as fragmented as Linux ;-)

Re:Windows XP 64-bit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879969)

The rumour is that Microsoft said a firm no to Intel requesting support for an entirely new 64-bit variation, but they worked out a deal where Microsoft would delay their x86-64 version of Windows until Intel was able to develop a compatible processor. The Intel x86-64 processor might even contain a few extra instructions that AMD doesn't have, just to ensure incompatibility.

These kinds of rumours may not not have anything to do with reality, but at least they can explain why Microsoft has not released the x86-64 Windows for sale even though there have been fully functional betas available for almost a year now.

Re:Windows XP 64-bit (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880002)

These kinds of rumours may not not have anything to do with reality, but at least they can explain why Microsoft has not released the x86-64 Windows for sale even though there have been fully functional betas available for almost a year now.

It's official then. AMD is dying.

Just kidding. Personally I'll buy an AMD64 processor any day over the Intel processor unless they completely change their business practices and price it either comparable or less than the AMD 64-bit CPU. Somehow I doubt Intel will do that since they still think they are the 2000lb behemoth of the CPU business and don't see that they have some very good competition from AMD among hardware enthusiasts. If I had the $750 I would get the Athlon FX-51 chip in a heartbeat.

Re:Windows XP 64-bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880072)

To me "x86-64" would seem to refer to the AMD instruction set.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879936)

SOMEBODY POST A STORY ABOUT THIS! I'M TOO LAZY from (The home of award winning MPlayer software)

2004.01.03, Saturday :: Another stolen software in Kiss firmware posted by Gabucino It has been brought to my attention, that the now famous Kiss Technology - already in violation of the GNU General Public License - has been confirmed stealing another program which is also completely under the GPL license. The software in question is the high-quality MPEG audio codec, MAD (libmad). This codec is used by a lot of other audio players, like mpg321, a command line MP3 player found in most Linux distributions - including Debian. The strings from the Kiss firmware (matching libmad sources), can be viewed here - but you can also check it for yourself, it's really easy. And if you do: don't be surprised when you run into more strings - which match libjpeg's. 2004.01.03, Saturday :: Kiss Tech comment posted by Gabucino Before I get another 10 mails about this: the GPL.ZIP file which they offer for download on their site contains only the Linux kernel and busybox sources, not MPlayer's! Thanks.

2004.01.02, Friday :: Another GPL violation: Kiss Technology posted by Gabucino Basically Kiss Technology is specialized in particular kinds of media hardware, namely DVD and MPEG-4 players, set-top-boxes, and such. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if a careless user initiates a string search in one of their firmwares: $ strings KiSS_DP-508_FW2.7.4_PAL.iso | grep -A 3 -B 6 MPSub
Microdvd Subrip Subviewer Sami Vplayer Unknown MPSub Subviewer 2.0 Subrip 0.9 Jacosub

Running the same command on the MPlayer binary:

$ strings /usr/bin/mplayer | grep -B 8 mpsub -A 4

L>microdvd subrip subviewer
sami vplayer dunnowhat mpsub subviewer 2.0 subrip 0.9 jacosub

You can also check the subreader.h or the subreader.c files in MPlayer sources. As you can see, the KiSS firmware contains the subtitle formats in the very same order as we do. The thing that really catches the eye is the MPSub format, which is our own subtitle format, which hasn't been used anywhere else so far.

Another nice nit is the "dunnowhat" AKA "unknown" subtitle format, whose name remains unknown for us - thus the naming. It's the same in KiSS' files.

This of course is hardly enough for a proof. What really makes it a one hundred percent stealing is quite obvious: the sscanf() calls which contains the patterns of the subtitle formats known to the subtitle parser, in order to identify the chosen subtitle file.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879961)

Hey, great. Mail it to last week when we GAVE A SHIT.

Dumb question (3, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879939)

Ok, flame me if you wish, here's my dumb question:

If I got a computer with a 64 bit processor, what difference would I notice compared to a non-64 bit resaonbly high-end PC? I mean, would it just be a bit faster? Or a hell of a lot faster? Or just faster at certain things? Or would it not make much difference at all for normal everyday office tasks and playing games etc.?

Re:Dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879962)

Just faster at certain things.

It's been 14 seconds since you hit 'reply'!

Re:Dumb question (2, Informative)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879963)

Absolutly nothing until programs start to utilize all 64 bits...and who knows when that will be

Dumb Answer (2, Funny)

!the!bad!fish! (704825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879965)

You would notice that 64 bits costs a lot more.

Re:Dumb question (0)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879966)

Depends... ;) If you ran 32-bit windows on a 64-bit machine you would notice little difference. If you run it on (presumably Linux) apps compiled for 64 bit then you would notice a big difference.

Re:Dumb question - deserves a straight answer (5, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879979)

The best answer to your question is : not necessarily faster. Variables in this equation include but are not limited to:
  • good motherboard support
  • good OS support
  • advanced multi-bit path to ALL hardware interfaces (eg them newsystem buses which are mostly not yet vailable)
  • good fast RAM
  • software recompiled to the 64-bit CPU
  • actual use of 'benefits' of 64-bit computing (eg consumes unearthly amounts of RAM)

For you and I, JimBob and JoeBlow, a good fast 32-bit system will kick much 64-bit arse. At least until
  • full OS (and driver) support for 64-bit mode
  • apps recompiled for 64-bit
  • fast mother with fancy-schmancy ultra-wide ultra-fast system bus
  • new cards (*especially* video) on said new bus

Re:Dumb question - deserves a straight answer (3, Informative)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880145)

For you and I, JimBob and JoeBlow, a good fast 32-bit system will kick much 64-bit arse.

This isn't valid. x86-64 systems can run 32-bit apps at full speed, so they'd be kicking their own arse.

Also note that x86-64 corrects some of the weaknesses of the x86 architecture, so x86-64 apps are automatically faster. Counter-strike was 30% faster, clock-for-clock.

Re:Dumb question - deserves a straight answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880182)

Exacly. But there is an additional aspect that isn't mentioned here: all new hardware has a breaking in period where the drivers and support isn't mature.

The end-user difference between 32 and 64-bit is the potential. 64-bit will, after getting some time for the hardware and drivers to mature, smoke even the fastest 32-bit chips.

Re:Dumb question - deserves a straight answer (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880207)

True, all your points. I just couldn't help but think that this is the kind of thing that Alpha CPU's have been doing for years. Kinda expensive, though. Cray supercomputers come to mind.

Re:Dumb question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879987)

you would not notice any difference today.

it's an evolutionary step.

5 years from now, when you are completely used to 64bit, taking you back to 32bit will definitely be noticeable.

just like if we forced you to use a 16bit processor and operating system today, you'd notice, wouldn't you?

Re:Dumb question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880100)

No, I have to disagree. Evolution doesn't happen in phases like you are trying to explain it. All through mankind we have wanted to create something with only one thing in mind - it needs to be better than the previous solution. It doesn't matter what we're talking about - be it about making camp fire or cooking food. Mankind finds better solutions all the time but who is the on to judge which one is better than the other one. We can easily see that we just can't be objective so it turns out to be relatively pointless to talk about better innovation and how it effects on our everyday life. Evolutionary steps happen in our everyday life, think about you when you first learned to walk you thought wow this is better than crawling around well that you can call an 'evolutionary step' but if we are talking about manufacturing cars. Nothing evolutionary has happened since Henry Ford invented the motorized vehicle. It's been the same four wheels and the steering wheel combination even to this day. So, as a conclusion I would like to point out that it is quite useless to talk about evolutionary steps or 5 years, or five minutes. I mean, I wouldn't know the difference. Would you?

Re:Dumb question (1)

Sivaram_Velauthapill (693619) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879999)

The 64bit CPUs will have higher clock speeds than the 32bit. So automatically they will be faster if EVERYTHING ELSE WAS THE SAME (which isn't). In theory, 64bit should be better than 32bit (that goes without saying). The real answer will depend on the applications. It will take some time for developers to write applications that use 64bit. Since nearly all applications are 32bit right now, developers won't change overnight and you probably wouldn't notice a difference for a while. So 32bit is probably good enough for 3 years I would say.

BTW, general office tasks may not seem much improvement but games definitely will. Games are one of the most tasking activities for a computer. Games can easily use up all your CPU power (although often, you are video-card-limited rather than CPU-limited--depends on game though).

Sivaram Velauthapillai

Re:Dumb question (2, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880029)

Actually, you're almost completely wrong. All things being the same (clock speed, on chip cache, etc) 64-bit computing should be measurably slower than 32bits.


Yes, you heard right... slower.

More bits per instruction means
  • more thrash-in-your-cache
  • more RAM bandwidth used just sucking down instructions
And that's without even beginning to go into mega details of advanced CPU design.

Repeat after me 64-bits does not magically change anything.

The reasons these chips will most likely run apps faster is due to
  • faster clock speed
  • more cache ram
  • wider system bus
  • generally better CPU design

This is basic real world physics and engineering here, not Wizards of Might and Magic.

Re:Dumb question (0)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880075)

actually for a 32-bit app since its the processor is litterally backwards compatable (thats the beauty of x86-64) it may not slow it down all that much, if not at all noticably to a person, now if you are using 64-bit code at the exact same rates as 32-bit code, it could most easily be slower.

Re:Dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880174)

Did I get it right that you claim that 64 bit instructions are twice as long as 32-bit ones? What are you on?

Now, the reality in x86-world is that the chips have already been largely 64 bit (think of mmx and fpu). Making the rest of the instructions so as well might provide in fact a simpler design.

Another note is that processor bitness and size of the data you operate on memory aren't necessarily related so all the data you access isn't suddenly going bloat itself to twice the size. (unless it's full of pointers)

Re:Dumb question (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880057)

In theory, 64bit should be better than 32bit (that goes without saying).

Not actually true. The larger the word size, the more bits you have to move on every operation. Going to a larger word size is normally driven by application requirements: if an application doesn't need a larger address space or a wider ALU a larger word can actualy make it slower.

What can you do with a 64-bit processor?

Well, one thing you can do is directly address every byte on the largest disk drives we can get today. With an operating system that was designed for direct access, like Multics, you would never have to "read" any files: when you opened one, it would look just as if it had already been read in... all your physical memory would effectively be a big disk cache.

For another, you can give each computer on the network part of the address space, so the same thing would be true for any file on your local LAN. Or any program on your LAN... no more messing around with protocols and remote file servers and databases... if you had the access rights, it would be as if they were local files.

You could do the same thing for each instance of a program, so you wouldn't need complex mapping code when passing messages from one program to another... in fact you could just pass the address of a message and let the memory management system move it over when you actually need it. That would get rid of a LOT of redundant copying, since you probably don't need all parts of every message.

The problem is, you'd need a whole new OS (or a whole old one... Multics is older than UNIX) to really take advantage of this kind of thing.

Re:Dumb question (2, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880025)

Going to 64-bit isn't likely to make a difference to most programs. It will make a difference if you run software that needs a lot of address space, either because it wants to load or directly map more than 2-4GB of data, or because it's using sparse addressing for some reason (there are a number of algorithms where having a small amount of data scattered over a large address space is the most efficient way to operate). What's more likely to make a difference is using the change in address space to get people to recompile their code to a new instruction set that's better designed than the one you already have.

Given Intel's track record on instruction set design, I'm not encouraged. Consider their history: 8080 and register starvation, 8086 and register starvation, iApx432 - the second most bloated CISC design ever, 80286 and the age of segmentation, 80386 and more register starvation, i860 - the most complex RISC ever, IA64 - how many years late and now apparently being left to rot? The best design they ever did was the i960, and it got effectively killed by internal politics and delegated to embedded controller work.

If they were smart, they'd have kept the next generation Alpha team intact and released EV8 as the Intel iAXP processor... in a few years nobody would remember that they'd started with someone else's design (look how well they've marketed the XScale).

Re:Dumb question (1)

mahart (177794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880037)

Using 32bit OS's and 32bit programs there would be no difference.

Here [] are some benchmarks that show the difference once programs start to get rewritten/recompiled for 64bit (for the Athlon64)

Re:Dumb question::Even Dumber Question (1)

Cragen (697038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880050)

What for? Ok, I realize the Universe does not end at my network connection. I really have little need for more speed, but, obviously, someone does. Who, please? Doing what? With what goal in mind? Seriously. (It would be interesting to know what the big dogs do or want to be able to do.) Thanks,


Re:Dumb question (0)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880160)

The perceived length of your penis would increase in direct proportion with the word length of your main CPUs instructions.

It's a scientific FACT.

Re:Dumb question (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880221)

This may be a dumb question but...if you recompile code on a 64 bit platform, does that code then use any benefits of being 64-bit or will it still run just the same as 32 bits. I'm just curious because I may be getting an AMD 64-bit (or possibly holding out now and see how Intel prices their processor) and want to know if compiling Gentoo or anything else on it will make any major improvements.



Other things up their sleeve (4, Informative)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879941)

I think that Intel have some other tricks up their sleeve. See my journal [] for some screwy wishful thinking. What is cool about loads of on-chip NVRAM is that it opens up the possibility for Intel to ship an embedded operating system. The Wintel duopoly will reach new heights with DRM and Trusted Computing.

Re:Other things up their sleeve (1)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880215)

Sun and IBM will be the major players in the future 64-bit boom

That would suggest that Linux would also be a major player. First mover advantage isn't dead yet.

Latest and Greatest (1)

PRES_00 (657776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879951)

All the latest and greatest processors are already invented. It is only a question of the companies to wait for the right time to let it out onto the market as to maximize profit.

This is why I don't let the hype get to me. I rather praise the companies that give me the greatest price/performance ratio for a given time. If you can buy it, then it's not cutting edge.

Sample Results.. (3, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879967)

After Sampling the new Chip Internally the general view was :

"Tastes like Chicken"

Further Internal Samplings are being conducted using Tabasco and BBQ sauces.

What's next for Apple? (-1, Troll)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879975)

I wonder what apple will do to counter Intel when they put their 64bit chip on the market? Apple's claim as "The world's fastest computer" have already been put under the knife with P4s beating the G5. Not knocking Apple at all, just curious. All in all, who cares? Until Half Life 2 or Quake 4 Optimized for 64bits comes out what use is a 64bit processor unless you play games, do computer graphics or insanely large spreadsheets or databases?

Re:What's next for Apple? (2, Funny)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879997)

"I wonder what apple will do to counter Intel when they put their 64bit chip on the market?"

The same thing they always do with Intel - ignore them and hope that they go away.

Re:What's next for Apple? (-1, Troll)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880149)

"I wonder what apple will do to counter Intel when they put their 64bit chip on the market?"

They'll introduce a new color of iMac and name it after a fruit.

Battle? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879977)

Is this the beginning of a Linux+AMD vs. Windows+Intel battle?

Add-in module is for an *ITANIUM* coprocessor ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879978)

I don't believe Intel could bring themselves to adopt an AMD design. It is known that Intel was working on an Itanium-Pentium hybrid that failed due to development complexities. By going with the "add-in module" (like the "Numeric coprocessor" before it) they can still push forward with their original plan in a slightly different way.

For the moment, there are more tools and a slightly more mature development environment for IA-64 versus x86-64. But x86-64 adoption will come for free, whereas its going to be like pulling teeth even with this "module add-in" solution. On the technical side, things look grim for Intel, however, Intel is too resourceful a company to bet against.

The picture will be clearer 12 months from now -- it will be a Pentium V + an Itanium add on versus Opteron or Athlon FX. Intel's got to try to bank on outperforming AMD (no easy feet as the benchmarks on Opteron and Athlon FX demonstrate), otherwise their more expensive solution with be DOA.

x86-64??? (5, Interesting)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879984)

x86-64-bit processor will 'soon' arrive from Intel

Do you mean AMD64? Will the Intel chips really be fully compatible with an AMD-designed instruction set?

If this happens, it will only reinforce the fact that Intel has lost it's leadership position in the x86 compatible market. It will also severely impact any eventual large scale adoption of Itanium.

AMD just needs to bite the bullet and actually do some marketing. It has clearly superior products at this point. The Athlon 64 3000+ looks like a great buy, and a nice way to check out 64 bit computing at a low price point. If you have the money laying around, though, you really can't beat the PowerMac G5s. :-)

BTW, it's also too bad that Microsoft has delayed 64-bit Windows. It shows all too clearly that the "Wintel" partnership is alive, well, and smelly. On the other hand, it does provide a nice platform for Linux to tout it's superiority - "What's taking so long Microsoft, we've had an AMD64 version of Linux for months already!". So much for the "advantages" of Microsoft's software development practices... :-P

Re:x86-64??? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880074)

YES. M$ has put Intel on notice it will NOT support a third 64 bit processor under windows. If they want their x86-64 to run windows it WILL use the AMD64 instruction set, or it will NOT be supported.

Re:x86-64??? que? (0)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880120)

You forgot to add "bork bork bork" to the end of your post (ie Swedish Chef Mode).

Re:x86-64??? (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880132)

"If this happens, it will only reinforce the fact that Intel has lost it's leadership position in the x86 compatible market."


Leadership is determined by who's got more out there, not by who's following whose standard. By your definition, AMD could never ever achieve leadership position because it's usinng Intel's instructions.

AMD may be a threat, but it has not ousted Intel, not by a long shot.

Re:x86-64??? (4, Interesting)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880214)

Leadership is determined by who's got more out there, not by who's following whose standard. By your definition, AMD could never ever achieve leadership position because it's usinng Intel's instructions.

No, leadership is determined by who introduces the technology that everyone will be using in the future.

You're talking about "marketshare" which is a different concept. ;-)

The fact that Intel has such a commanding lead in marketshare at the moment is mainly a glowing endorsement of effective marketing practices. The P4 has been a stunning failure as a technology - all it has really achieved is lower performance at 1/3 higher clockspeed (P4 3.2 GHz. vs. Athlon FX 2.2 GHz.). The only place that P4 excels is the SIMD instruction set, where latency doesn't matter - and those instructions don't help much at all with general purpose computing.

Intel Inside - Just Say No. :-)

Slashdot: Hype For Morons, SciFi for lusers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7879991)

It's sad. Slashdot is officially dead because any sane person with a scientific background can only but be outraged with this shit. You can't have the masses AND the nerds. I'm officially ressigning.

I don't doubt it at all... (2, Interesting)

shfted! (600189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879994)

Guess the Rumours are True [] .

Itanic == Titantic (1)

vpscolo (737900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7879996)

You can help but think they might of chosen another name to start with can you? Of course they might of been hoping for the success of the film rather than the story of the boat sinking Rus

How fast are things really getting? (1)

gotpaint32 (728082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880005)

How fast are these processors getting lately! It just seems odd that a few years ago a jump in processor speed or architecture actually meant something significant. But lately I haven't been noticing this phenomenon as much. Clock speeds are skyrocketing at the same if not greater rate than in previous years but applications seem to demand proportionatly less cycles as time goes on. In 95 a computer could barely keep up with the demands for more memory, cpu speed and whatnot by programs making many computers unusable after about a year. Now we see in a years time improvements in opening photoshop a few seconds quicker than before. Please dont flame this post saying that IA64 is meant for high end servers and workstations, I realize this, but is advancement in clock speed and architecture really as important a step as it used to be.

Re:How fast are things really getting? (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880167)

That's because a lot of these clock speed improvements are "marketing MIPS".

To speed a computer up, the best way is to look for what's slowing it down the most, and speed that up.

To sell more computers, the best way is to look for what's easiest to speed up, and advertise that as the big advantage.

It's actually possible for a clock speed improvement to be accompanied by other changes that slow down some programs. Intel hit that when the first generation XScale was used in the Pocket PC... the big bottleneck for video on the ARM chips used in the Pocket PC was memory bandwidth... they had 206 MHz processors and 100 MHz memory and people were trying to play videos from memory cards that were far slower than that. They sped up the ARM instruction set on the XScale by breaking the instructions up with a longer pipeline. What happened? Well, that longer pipeline actually increased the impact of the slower memory by increasing the impact of a "bubble in the pipeline" when it had to go to main memory instead of cache to load instructions or when a mispredicted branch forced it to discard partially completed instructions, and on some benchmarks the 400 MHz XScale was actually slower than the 206 MHz StrongARM... and some vendors actually ran the XScale at 200 or 300 MHz!

The second generation XScale's 200 MHz bus largely solved that... at the cost of having to use faster and more power-hungry RAM. Everything's a tradeoff.

So, if you have a computer with a 266 MHz memory bus... how much difference do you think you'll see going from a 700 MHz processor to a 1.4 GHz processor or even a 2.1 GHz one? Well, that depends on what you're processing! If your program and its data is small enough to mostly fit in the cache, you'll get a big boost. If you're playing a videogame with megabytes of graphics being shoved down the AGP port to the video card, probably not a whole lot... save your money and upgrade the graphics card instead.

And that's why memory chips keep changing, they keep coming up with faster and faster memory... but that's falling further and further behind the marketing MIPS because there's a lot fewer tricks left to pull to market those numbers up.

Re:How fast are things really getting? (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880210)

Well, I suspect there's not much technical advancement or breakthrough as far as chip technology is concerned. All I see is heaps of on-chip memory and ever so complicated preemptive code execution logic. The CPU translates the dog old IA2^n instructions (still there for compat/market stranglehold) into it's own language to run like a JVM or Tranmeta. I think all this sums up to having a compiler hardwired in silicon; which also explains the amount of pipelining and frequency scaling: these operations are quite cumbersome and require loads of gates to perform. So, it's quite obvious that slicing the combinational stuff, throwing luts in the mix and just tweaking the "compiler" makes some difference. It's quite boring as far as I can tell and somehow feels like running on the least commom factor. I'd be interested in reconfigurable logic, compilers that recognize algorithmic patterns in code and instruct the Processing Unit to morph into a hardware representation of it. Away from the single stack, program counter model! multiple thread cores (32?) arbitrating the flow from one hw-alg to the other... oh well Microsoft will never recompile it's sw to anthing that isn't intel so it's just a daydream...

Internal use only (2, Funny)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880011)

"...article that says that the chip is to be sampled internally this month."

Perhaps I'm up too late, but when I read the above, this image of a windows developer flashed in my mind. He's frustrated with a child-proof cap and resorts to reading the side of this bottle from Intel: "For marketing use only. Do note mix with alcohol or windows. New buffer exploits are inevitable. May cause loss of market share if ingested."

just what we need (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880020)

Great just what we need. another patch on a 20+ year old design. its not Apple who needs to switch platform's its us the whole x86 platform should be dropped. Apple has been able to pull off a proccessor change from the m68k to the PPC and they were able to mantain compatibly with legacy apps in emulation.

back in the day... (1)

lithiumfox (736891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880033)

Remember when everything was simple, no color monitor, simple keyboard layout etc. Back then, my Tandy3000 and I could take on the world.

Did I Miss Something? (4, Insightful)

los furtive (232491) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880043)

...they also predict that Sun and IBM will be the major players in the future 64-bit boom

Isn't IBM already a major player [] ?

twas a noble idea by intel (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880058)

for a change, to break backwards compatibility, but we have to ask them. WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING THIS TIME???? finally, x86 becomes THE commodity platform and they try to kill it ?? ? ? makes no sense. AMD knew what was up all along. IBM did the same with its 64 bit offering, and Sun still makes slow processors (fun to complain about hardware too).

anyway, they screwed the pooch, but will never correct the mistake. when you've got a few billion dollars, you can wait just long enough to lose most any amount of money on a new product.

NO (2, Interesting)

1ini (629558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880059)

No they will not.
Intel likes to keep its architectures separated. They have Pentiums/Xeons for 32bit and Itaniums for 6bit processing. Releasing a x86-64 CPU will kill the Itanium plain and simple.

Re:NO (3, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880077)

Itaniums for 6bit processing

I always thought Intel was a few slices short of a loaf, but that's just ridiculous.

Will They? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7880061)

Don't be ridiculous. They have a virtual monopoly of the chip industry, I'm sure they can milk some more from their current offerings.

Too Much Work (4, Funny)

InvaderXimian (609659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880080)

I don't think MS could port Windows to all those different architectures (they can't get one right) so perhaps they'll either need more people, make it open source within a select few MS Devs or something or just make it really crappy.

Think about it, optimizing an operating system for 4+ archs is no easy task and I doubt MS could do it in a reasonable amount of time.

Maybe they'll hire the Duke Nukem: Forever developers on that one.

Re:Too Much Work (2, Informative)

cchd (709773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880161)

But Microsoft already did this. NT4 was originally developed on MIPS and then "ported" to IA32 and Alpha. Most of the original work on the 64bit Windows for Itanium was done on Alpha (as no Itanium chips were available). Assumint that no new 32 bit dependancies have been built into 2000 and XP (big assumption here) then a simple recompile should get things moving on other architectures again.

Will AMD's x86-64 and Intel's x86-64 (2, Interesting)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880102)

architectures be compatible? If they aren't, that could be quite a hassle

Re:Will AMD's x86-64 and Intel's x86-64 (1)

InvaderXimian (609659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880212)

The Itanium2 architecture isn't compatible with anything of AMD's. I believe x86-64 is also refered to AMD64, which is the Operton. Just remember x86-64 as a 64-bit processor with regular 32-bit app support. If you don't remember the release of the Itanium processor, help you refresh your memory: It sucked. Well, it wasn't compatible with any other current OS and it could run some 32-bit applications but it was horribly slow. As you can tell, it didn't do very well even though companies like HP hoped it would.

Very Likely (4, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880111)

Intel will very likely release a 64-bit x86 processor, or kludge unit for Pentium V, this year (just like the math coprocessor was prior to the 486).

However consider this:

AMD has been shipping Opteron for nearly a year already, and ports of the main OSs (including Windows and Linux) have been done, with others already working in the lab. It also runs old 32-bit OSs with no change. It will run legacy x86 code at full speed along side new 64-bit code. It is more efficient in terms of useful work done per clock cycle compared to Pentium 4 and Xeon. It scales better in multi-way systems (very important in workstations and serves) : the logic is built in. Xeon does not have this (and plain P4 is limited to single-way). It has a built in memory controller. It has twice as many registers. It's very inexpensive. Go and look up your favourite component retailer right now and compare an Opteron to a Xeon (and even the "high-end" Pentium 4).

The only place AMD may have trouble selling is to the ignorant masses who buy on MHz (or GHz) from highstreet stores, and pay too much.

The corporate world is more clued-up, and so are the enthusiasts and power-users.

Even if AMD does not knock intel off of it's perch, there is a huge potential market for Opteron. Several major corporations are behind Opteron. They've committed to it. It's going to be big business. 2004 will see a radical change in the hardware business. I predict that in the second half of this year, people will laugh a 32-bit PeeCees. They will be obsolete and bargain-basement by then.

Rumor? (0)

Mys*lf (736801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880116)

I heard that the Prescott includes a set of deactivated 64bits instructions, can someone confirm?

It's not the bits, it's the instruction set. (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7880247)

The big problem with the Pentium isn't that it's only 32 bits wide, it's that the instruction set is so poorly designed. It's complex and hard to execute quickly, doesn't have enough registers, REALLY doesn't have enough floating point registers, has too high a cost to transferring data between the CPU and FPU, and huge chunks of silicon have to be used to cover for these faults.

Intel has tried to patch this with extended instruction sets before, like MMX, but they haven't been able to discard the legacy design. The last big improvement in their architecture was when they went from the 286 to the 386, and were able (eventually) to shed the overhead of 16-bit segments. Mostly... and they did that by making it a completely different mode instread of a patch on the existing instruction set the way the 8086-80286 transition was.

If their new "extensions" have a better instruction set, they will be able to perform the same kind of break without losing their existing user base. They tried to do this with IA64, but the processor was too slow and the IA32 "mode" was WAY too slow. It remains to be seen whether the new chip does a better job.

If they had been smart, they'd have kept the Alpha EV8 team intact after they bought them from the Compaq fire sale, renamed it the "IAXP", and shipped it with a hardware IA32-Alpha recompiler for legacy support.
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