AMD Releases Technology Simulator To Allow Developers To Test And Perfect 64-Bit Code
AMD SimNow! simulator allows developers to debug their x86-64-based code prior to the release of the "Hammer" family of x86-64 processors.
Linux World, Frankfurt, Germany
October 30, 2000
AMD today publicly released the x86-64[tm] technology simulator, also referred to as the AMD SimNow! simulator, an application specifically designed to give BIOS vendors, tools developers, operating system manufacturers and application providers the ability to evaluate their x86-64 technology based software code prior to the release of AMD's forthcoming 64-bit capable processors implementing x86-64 technology. These processors, codenamed "Hammer," are planned to be announced at the end of 2001. The AMD SimNow! simulator is available free of charge at http://www.x86-64.org. AMD's x86-64 technology is designed to enable platform suppliers, developers, and corporations to transition to 64-bit computing environments while continuing to have leading performance on the vast installed base of existing 32-bit applications. Memory hungry applications such as large databases, CAD tools, and simulation engines that are currently limited by the 4GB addressing limitation benefit most from 64-bit computing.
AMD is enhancing the x86 architecture to include a 64-bit mode that has both a 64-bit address space and a 64-bit data space. AMD's 64-bit processors are planned to be designed to detect which mode is needed (32- or 64-bit) and compute accordingly.
"SUSE believes that AMD has taken a revolutionary approach by involving the open source community so early in the design process of its 64-bit technology," said Markus Rex, vice president of development, SUSE Linux AG. "By enabling access to the simulator, all Linux developers can help ensure a fast, high-quality port of AMD's x86-64 technology."
"I'm very pleased that AMD asked CodeSourcery to port portions of the AMD SimNow! simulator to GNU/Linux. This simulator is designed to make it possible for kernel developers and compiler engineers to start porting GNU/Linux to x86-64 without waiting for prototype hardware. This port is a clear sign of AMD's commitment to GNU/Linux, and that's really exciting," said Mark Mitchell, chief technical officer of CodeSourcery, LLC. "The AMD SimNow! simulator release is an important follow-on to the earlier release of the x86-64 architecture specification; AMD's open approach to their own hardware nicely parallels the openness of the GNU/Linux software model."
"AMD designed and built the AMD SimNow! simulator to provide developers of x86-64 technology with tools for debugging their code and applications prior to the release of the "Hammer" family of x86-64 technology enabled processors," said Richard Heye, vice president and general manager, AMD Texas Microprocessor Division. "AMD is committed to supporting the Linux community and is proud of the Linux partners also supporting x86-64 technology including Ada Core Technologies, CodeSourcery, and SuSE."
About the x86-64[tm] Technology Simulator
The AMD SimNow! simulator includes a model of a theoretical microprocessor. This microprocessor is based on the AMD AthlonTM processor, but has been enhanced with the addition of x86-64 architecture support. The simulator contains all the classic pieces of a PC system (CPU, memory, Northbridge, Southbridge, display, IDE drives, floppy, keyboard, and mouse support). The design goal for the AMD SimNow! Simulator was to create an accurate model of a computer system from a programmer's view. The simulator runs under GNU/Linux. Features of the AMD SimNow! simulator include the ability to single-step, peek at registers and memory, test with 64-bit mode, and debug kernel bugs without having access to 64-bit processors.
About AMD's x86-64[tm] 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's 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 build upon the billions of dollars already invested in 32-bit software.
Visit AMD on the Web
The x86-64 Architecture Programmers Overview including the full specification and developer support is available at www.amd.com/devconn/index.html
The x86-64 simulator, and accompanying documentation is available for download at www.x86-64.org/downloads
Other press releases and information about AMD and its products are available at www.amd.com/news/new
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