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AMD Demos Prototype System Running 64-bit Windows

AMD is demonstrating systems at Comdex and Supercomputing 2002 this week running prototypes of its 64-bit AMD Opteron processors on 64-bit Windows servers.

The AMD Opteron chip is a fundamentally different approach to 64-bit systems than Intel has taken with its Itanium line, which began shipping in mid-2001. Intel created a new architecture with new instructions for 64-bit computing. AMD is using the x86 architecture and relying on the 64-bit capabilities for performance improvements.

The result, AMD argues, is a more seamless coexistence of 32-bit and 64-bit applications on AMD Opteron-based systems. Microsoft committed in April to supporting AMD Opteron with Windows.

The system demonstrated at Supercomputing 2002 in Baltimore is a four-way AMD Opteron-based server. The Comdex demo ran 64-bit Windows, 64-bit Internet Information Services 6.0, 64-bit Terminal Services and 64-bit Internet Explorer.

AMD has committed to shipping Opteron processors in 2003.Intel is expected to deliver its third-generation of Itanium, code-named "Madison," in 2003.

Microsoft currently offers a limited edition Windows server operating system for 64-bit systems. The company's first general release of a 64-bit server operating system will come in April when it ships 64-bit versions of Windows .NET Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition. A 64-bit SQL Server 2000 is also scheduled to be available in April.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.