Virtutech’s “VirtuHammer” simulator, used to develop software for AMD’s next-generation processor, joins a variety AMD Athlon(tm) processor-powered workstations and servers at AMD’s LinuxWorld booths
AMD, SUSE encouraged as open-source community makes significant gains in porting Linux to AMD’s “Hammer” family of processors
AMD announced today at LinuxWorld events in New York and Paris the first public demonstration of “VirtuHammer,” the recently announced high-performance tool developed by AMD and Virtutech that allows software developers to write and test 64-bit programs for AMD’s next-generation “Hammer” family of processors. Additionally, AMD is showing a dozen AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based servers and workstations running on the Linux operating system at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo shows in New York City and Paris. LinuxWorld is the premiere tradeshow for developers, supporter and end users of the Linux operating system.
AMD is approaching both LinuxWorld events with great optimism as the company, along with Linux operating system vendor SUSE (www.suse.com), reports the achievement of significant milestones in the open-source community’s efforts to port Linux to AMD’s x86-64 technology. The x86-64 technology extends the x86 instruction set to enable 64-bit computing and is the backbone behind AMD’s planned 64-bit processor family, code-named “Hammer.” AMD’s “Hammer” family is planned for commercial introduction in the first half of 2002.
AMD first publicly introduced the x86-64 technology specification at LinuxWorld San Jose in August 2000. In just five months, the open source community has succeeded in making software development tools, including the GNU C compiler and Binary Build Tools, comply with the x86-64 standard for software, e.g. the Application Binary Interface (ABI). All development activities for this port are taking place in public forums on the www.x86-64.org website.
“SUSE has done a tremendous job of spearheading the effort to develop a version of Linux for AMD’s x86-64 architecture. Progress to date has been outstanding and makes a profound statement about open-source development,” said Wayne Meretsky, AMD Fellow and Manager of Software Research & Development. “AMD’s straightforward approach to 64-bit computing continues gaining support from the software community.”
“AMD’s approach to enabling Open Source software for the x86-64 platform taps into the traditional strength of the Open Source software development process, namely the ability to harness the collective wisdom and energies of talented developers around the world,” said Dirk Hohndel, SUSE GmbH’s Chief Technical Officer. “The rapid progress is also a testament to the virtue of AMD’s evolutionary approach to 64-bit computing. SUSE believes that businesses everywhere will see similar benefits when migrating to 64-bit applications on x86-64 technology-based platforms.”
SUSE whose developers are spearheading the Linux community’s efforts to port Linux to the x86-64 architecture, is currently using “VirtuHammer” to develop tools and applications for x86-64 technology-based platforms.
“My experience using Virtutech Simics software has been very positive and the support from Virtutech has been very good,” said Andreas Jaeger, x86-64 project leader at SUSE Labs. “The speed is good, the command-line interface is great, and I can now run tests using scripts, which allows me to finish a whole test suite in less than half an hour. I am very impressed.”
“VirtuHammer” is a high-powered tool featuring Virtutech’s Simics software and a 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor. The Simics software program enables a computer featuring the 32-bit AMD Athlon(tm) 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. (For more information about the Virtutech “VirtuHammer” simulator, please go to www.virtutech.com.)
“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.
LinuxWorld Demos at the AMD Booth
- Virtutech Simics “VirtuHammer” simulator powered by a 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor on SUSE 7.0 Linux
- Polywell 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based workstation running Softimage on SUSE 7.0 Linux
- Polywell 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based workstation running POVRay on SUSE 7.0 Linux
- Utron 1.2GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based workstation running Nastran/Patran fom MSC software on MSC Linux
- Utron 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based workstation running Blender on SUSE 7.0 Linux
- Polywell 1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based desktop running GIMP on Caldera 2.4
- Polywell 1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based desktop running Quake 3 from id on Mandrake 7.2
- LinuxNetworX 4 node 1-2U 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based cluster running streaming media demos
- Utron 2 x 2U Quad 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based server running EnFuzion from TurboLinux on TurboLinux
- Utron 4U 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) database processor-based server running Oracle 8i on SUSE 7.0 Linux
- Utron 2U Quad 1.1GHz AMD Athlon(tm) processor-based server running a Zeus Web server from Zeus on SUSE 7.0
About AMD 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. For additional information on the x86-64 instruction set, visit http://www.x86-64.org.
AMD x86-64 Technology Timeline
- October 5, 1999: First public disclosure of AMD x86-64 technology
- August 10, 2000: AMD x86-64 Technology Specification 1.0 released
- August 15, 2000: Linux developer community rallies support at LinuxWorld San Jose
- October 6, 2000: AMD SimNow! simulator released
- January 16, 2001: “VirtuHammer” simulator released
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. For more information on VirtuHammer, including availability, go to www.Virtutech.com
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