AMD has released a x86-64bit technology simulator, designed to give resellers the ability to evaluate the software code prior to the release of its forthcoming processors.
Referred to as SimNow!, the application is specifically designed for Bios vendors, tools developers, operating system manufacturers and application providers. It is designed to create an accurate model of a computer system from a programmer's view.
SimNow! is based on the AMD Athlon processor with added x86-64 architecture support. The simulator includes the ability to debug kernels without having access to 64bit processors. Codenamed Hammer, this feature is not planned for release until the end of 2001.
The x86-64 technology is mainly designed to improve the performance of memory-hungry applications, such as large databases and simulation engines, that are currently limited by the 4Gb addressing limitations of 32bit architecture.
AMD's 64bit processors will be programmed to automatically detect whether a program requires 32bit or 64bit and change accordingly.
"AMD designed and built the SimNow! simulator to provide developers of x86-64bit technology with tools for debugging code and applications prior to the release of the Hammer family of x86-64 technology-enabled processors," said Richard Heye, general manager at AMD.
Markus Rex, vice-president of development at Linux software developer SuSE, said: "AMD has taken a revolutionary approach by involving the open source community so early in the design process of its 64bit technology. With access to the simulator, all Linux developers can help to ensure a fast port of x86-64 technology."
The AMD SimNow! simulator is available free at www.x86-64.org.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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