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AMD Releases x86-64 Specifications
Date: Thursday August 10, 2000
Category: Press Release
Manufacturer Link: AMD Discus -- BBS
AMD has released the x86-64 specifications for the Hammer processor.

The following press release cleared BusinessWire August 10, 2000 at

approximately 12:01 AM EDT.





Ward Tisdale

AMD Public Relations

(512) 602-8536



Sean Cleveland

AMD Public Relations

(408) 749-5980






AMD's evolutionary approach builds upon the x86 instruction set;

preserves billions of dollars in corporate hardware and software investments



SUNNYVALE, CA-AUGUST 10, 2000 -AMD today publicly released the x86-64(tm)

Architecture Programmers Overview, the instruction manual the software

community can use to begin incorporating x86-64 technology support in their

operating systems, applications, drivers and development tools. AMD's x86-64

technology will first be supported in the family of processors codenamed

"Hammer," planned to be announced at the end of 2001.

"Sun Microsystems' Solaris team is very excited about AMD's x86-64

technology. We applaud AMD's ISV compatibility and upgrade strategy as well

as their open technology announcement today. We will be following their

progress closely as this technology comes to market," said Anil Gadre, vice

president and general manager for Solaris at Sun Microsystems.

AMD x86-64 technology is designed to enable platform suppliers, developers,

and corporations to transition to 64-bit environments while continuing to

have leading performance on the vast installed base of existing 32-bit

applications. 64-bit computing is ideal for memory hungry applications such

as large databases, CAD tools, and simulation engines that are currently

limited by the 4GB addressing limitation.

AMD is enhancing the x86 architecture to include a 64-bit mode that has both

a 64-bit address space and a 64-bit data space. AMD's 64-bit processors will

be designed to detect which mode is needed (32- or 64-bit) and compute


The computer industry has extended the x86 instruction set twice

previously, from 8-bit to 16-bit and from 16-bit to 32-bit. AMD's x86-64

architecture is a straightforward approach to extending the instruction set,

and will allow developers to employ their experience and the tools they have

accumulated since the inception of the x86 instruction set more than 20

years ago.

"AMD's evolutionary approach to 64-bit computing through an innovative

extension to an industry standard is a testament to AMD's commitment to

delivering better solutions to the market," said David Somo, vice president

of Marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "Ultimately this

technology is designed to help preserve the enterprise community's enormous

financial investment in 32-bit operating systems, applications, development

tools and support infrastructure while providing a seamless path to deploy

future 64-bit technology."

"AMD is excited to begin working with the development community to

incorporate support for our x86-64 technology," said Fred Weber, AMD vice

president of Engineering. "AMD's x86-64 technology is intended to integrate

fluidly into the existing 32-bit computing environment, allowing users to

continue running 32-bit applications. It will also permit users to adopt

64-bit applications at their own pace, as the hardware and software support

for 64-bit computing become available."

"Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of AMD's approach to 64-bit computing

is that it is an extension to the 32-bit environment prevailing in the

industry today rather than a radical departure," said Gordon Haff, a

Research Director with the Aberdeen Group. "As the industry as a whole

progresses to 64-bit platforms, we expect many system suppliers, software

vendors, MIS managers and end users to be interested in architectural

features that allow them to migrate at their own pace."

The complete text of the AMD x86-64 architecture specification is available

today at AMD will also

distribute the specification at LinuxWorld in San Jose next week.


About AMD's x86-64(tm) Technology

AMD's straightforward approach to 64-bit computing builds upon the x86

instruction set, one of the industry's most proven and widely supported

technologies. AMD x86-64 technology is designed to support applications that

address large amounts of physical and virtual memory, such as high

performance servers, database management systems, and CAD tools. The x86-64

technology seamlessly integrates into the current computing and support

environment, and is designed to enable enterprises to deploy high

performance 64-bit capable systems that build upon the billions of dollars

already invested in 32-bit software.

AMD enhances the current x86 instruction set by introducing two

major features: a 64-bit extension called long mode, and register

extensions. Long mode consists of two sub-modes: 64-bit mode, and

compatibility mode. 64-bit mode supports new 64-bit code through the

addition of eight general-purpose registers and widens them all along with

the instruction pointer. It also adds eight 128-bit floating point

registers. Compatibility mode supports existing 16-bit and 32-bit

applications under a 64-bit operating system. In addition to long mode, the

architecture also supports a pure x86 legacy mode, which preserves binary

compatibility with existing 16-bit and 32-bit applications and operating


Visit AMD on the Web

The x86-64 Architecture Programmers Overview including the full

specification and developer support is available at For more information,

please visit AMD's virtual pressroom at

About AMD

AMD is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the personal and

networked computer and communications markets with manufacturing facilities

in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia. AMD produces microprocessors,

flash memory devices, and support circuitry for communications and

networking applications. Founded in 1969 and based in Sunnyvale, California,

AMD had revenues of $2.9 billion in 1999. (NYSE: AMD).


Note to Editor: Additional information will be available on Thursday

morning. Fred Weber, vice president of engineering, Computation Products

Group at AMD, will lead a teleconference. A moderated question-and-answer

period will follow opening remarks.

When: Thursday, August 10, 2000

8:30 a.m. US PDT

Domestic (888) 313-7044

International (212) 346-6597


Audio replay information:

A replay will be available beginning at 10:30 a.m. US PDT, August 10, and

will run until 10:30 a.m. US PDT, August 17.

To access audio replay: (800) 633-8284/(858) 812-6440

Enter Reservation #16043498


Cautionary Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to

the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform

Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are generally preceded by words

such as "plans," "expects," "believes," "anticipates" or "intends."

Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements in this release

involve risks and uncertainty that could cause actual results to differ

materially from current expectations. Forward looking statements in this

release include the risks that developers may not support the x86-64

technology and design tools for the technology in a timely manner or at all,

that AMD will not successfully implement the technology in its products on a

timely basis, that the "Hammer" family of processors may not be announced on

the anticipated schedule and may not be designed with the anticipated

technologies, and that the x86-64 technology may not achieve customer and

market acceptance. We urge investors to review in detail the risks and

uncertainties in the Company's filings with the United States Securities

Exchange Commission.

AMD, the AMD logo, and combinations thereof, and x86-64 are trademarks of

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other product names used in this publication

are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their

respective companies.






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