Forbes: The Great 64-Bit Game

At 12:00 P.M. ET, AMD (nyse: AMD – news – people ) will formally release its much-anticipated Athlon 64 PC Microprocessor. For those following the saga since the company first presented a paper on its “Hammer” chip architectures at a chip industry forum in 1999, it’s been a long wait.
The Hammer chips–Sledgehammer became AMD’s Opteron server chip, Clawhammer became Athlon 64–extend the x86 chip instruction set that is the underpinning of the chips running virtually every modern PC that isn’t a Macintosh into the 64-bit realm, while also running conventional 32-bit applications. In 64-bit mode, the chip can address far more memory and therefore cut through huge amounts of data much faster than a conventional 32-bit machine. Everything gets faster at 64 bits. (full story)