Semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. announced Monday that it is working with Swedish computer system simulation developer Virtutech AB to create software development tools for its “Hammer” 64-bit processor.
The two companies have created a tool, code-named “VirtuHammer,” which 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 allows a computer using 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 test and debug their 64-bit software. AMD has already begun delivering VirtuHammer simulators to targeted software partners, the company said in a release.
Overcoming a dearth of applications for 64-bit chips may boost sales.
Intel Corp. is expected to roll out its own 64-bit processor, the Itanium, later this month or next month. Initially, Itanium and its IA-64 architecture may have a small market, according to Intel, because 64-bit computing has been applied only to the intense computational applications found in data mining and data warehousing.
IBM Corp. has designed an Itanium-based workstation code-named Rattler, which is expected to land at the top of IBM’s Z-Pro workstation line, as soon as the first Itanium chips become generally available. It has over 200 applications certified to run on the system.