AMD'S Next-Generation Hammer Family of Processors Passes Another Major Milestone
--AMD and Virtutech Announce High-Performance Simulator To Help Further Enable 64-Bit Software Development for AMD's Next-Generation Processors--
SUNNYVALE, CA --
AMD and Virtutech today announced the two companies are working together to further enable the development of software supporting AMD's next-generation Hammer family of processors. The two companies have jointly developed an innovative, high-performance tool, codenamed "VirtuHammer", that will allow software developers to write and test 64-bit programs in preparation for the planned commercial introduction of the next-generation AMD processors in the first half of 2002.
Virtutech's Simics software enables a computer featuring the 32-bit AMD Athlon™ processor to simulate the operations of a 64-bit Hammer processor-based computer, allowing developers to use currently available technology to quickly and accurately test and debug their 64-bit software for AMD's next-generation processors. Hammer processors will be the first AMD processors capable of 64-bit operation, and are being designed to deliver leading-edge performance on both the 64-bit software used by high-end workstations and servers and the 32-bit software used by the majority of desktop computers. AMD has already begun delivering VirtuHammer simulators to targeted software partners, helping ensure they have the resources, time, and support required to develop 64-bit operating systems, tools and applications for the Hammer family of processors.
"AMD values the roles companies like Virtutech play in helping bring the benefits of innovative new technologies like the x86-64 instruction set and Hammer family of processors to users. Virtutech's excellent simulation technology, coupled with the powerful AMD Athlon™ processor, create a high-performance tool that can help developers bring 64-bit software to market supporting AMD's Hammer processors," said Fred Weber, vice president of Engineering for the Computation Products Group at AMD. "The developer community has expressed tremendous interest in the x86-64 instruction set and the Hammer family of processors, with more than 100,000 users having visited the x86-64.org website since the specification was released last August."
"We're excited about adding support for the Hammer processor family to our Virtutech Simics simulation platform," said Peter S. Magnusson, CEO of Virtutech. "AMD's x86-64 technology is a well-designed and smooth enhancement of the x86 legacy instruction set. We were able to create a prototype Hammer processor-based version of our existing x86 simulator in just a fraction of the time that adding a new 64-bit instruction set would have taken."
The jointly validated version of Virtutech's Simics software enables standard AMD Athlon™ processor-based computers running either the Microsoft Windows® 2000 or Linux (Debian, Mandrake, RedHat, or SuSE distributions) operating systems to operate as a "virtual" x86-64 technology-based computer, providing a fast simulation environment that operates approximately 100 times faster than the AMD SimNow software for simulating execution of x86-64 instructions. The x86-64 version of Simics enables flexible simulation configurations that can simulate complete computers powered by AMD's next-generation Hammer processors, including multiprocessor and networked implementations. The Simics software also includes debugging features such as complex breakpoints, arbitrary watchpoints, scripting environment allowing the creation of test frameworks, and a machine description language and application programming interface (API) to add new devices or specialized functionality. These advanced features are essential tools for developers to test and evaluate 64-bit software.
About AMD's x86-64 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 also deliver leading-edge performance on the billions of dollars invested in the current base of 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 systems.
Visit AMD on the Web
For more information, please visit AMD's virtual pressroom.
Virtutech is the world leader in efficient simulation of high performance computer systems. Virtutech develops tools that are used to design, implement, and test systems such as multiprocessor servers and telephone switches. Its flagship product is Virtutech Simics. Virtutech is a privately held company, based in Stockholm, Sweden.
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 the VirtuHammer tool may not be successful in helping software developers write and test 64-bit programs supporting the "Hammer" family of processors, that developers may not support the x86-64 technology and design tools for the technology in a timely manner or at all, that AMD may not successfully implement the x86-64 technology in its products on a timely basis, that the x86-64 technology may not achieve customer and market acceptance, and that the "Hammer" family of processors may not be introduced on the anticipated schedule and may not be designed with the anticipated technologies. We urge investors to review in detail the risks and uncertainties in the Company's filings with the United States Securities Exchange Commission.