By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2004-01-29 Print this article Print

-bit Software Infrastructure Needed"> Determining when Intel might add 64-bit capabilities to its 32-bit chips, however, proved troublesome for analysts and Intel watchers alike. Gelsingers comments indicated that Intel believes that the market will ripen several years down the road, observers noted. And AMDs 64-bit Opteron processor has fared well in the market, while sales of Intels Itanium have grown slowly, although the IA-64 chip dominates the Top 500 list of supercomputers.
In addition, the 64-bit OS and application infrastructure is growing slowly. Microsoft has already delayed its 64-bit version of Windows XP until the second half of this year, although the official name for its Windows Server counterpart is Windows Server 2003 For 64-Bit Extended Systems, a careful hedge to allow future Intel chips, according to Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight64. Meanwhile, 64-bit applications also have to be completed. Intels Alfs, however, declined to specify what applications would make up an infrastructure necessary to allow them to be added. Intel has also spent a great deal of time and effort developing compilers and other software to help customers port their software to Itanium. "All that works got to take place before we could look at 64-bits on the desktop, whether its Itanium or something else," Alfs said. For that reason, Brookwood said he did not believe that the current Prescott contains 64-bit code that would be compatible with either Itanium or AMDs 64-bit chips, nor did he feel that any 64-bit technology would be turned on in the current generation of chips. Brookwood and other analysts said that they expect to see a demonstration of the technology, known as "Compatibility Technology," to be demonstrated at the Intel Developer Forum in February. Any CT technology, as its known, will likely show up in "Tejas," Intels next-generation processor line, due in late 2004 or early 2005. "I believe what well see at IDF is going to be along the lines of a tech demo, like the Vanderpool technology or LaGrande or hyperthreading," Brookwood said. "Im sure we wont see a lot of details, just a stake in the ground."


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