One company expected to show support on Tuesday at the chips New York launch is Nvidia, which will likely unveil its "Crush K8" workstation chipset. The product includes a GeForce4-class integrated graphics processor inside a 64-bit version of the nForce2 chipset, according to sources. The Crush K8 will begin shipping in volume in June, they said. The Opteron servers, which will ship next week, lack an AGP slot and only include onboard video. Nvidia officials declined to comment.Peripheral driver software for the Opteron may be a sticking point, however, as some vendors simply cant be persuaded to recompile for the 64-bit Opteron, the customer said. While the launch of Opteron is AMDs biggest play, the companys stake is also being financed by a broad swath of industry companies, including firms like Newisys that have bet their own companies on the fate of the Opteron. "It means a heck of a lot for AMD; it means tenfold more from an industry standpoint," Newisys Hester said. "Opteron is revolutionizing the server environment." But for AMD, a backwards-compatible 64-bit processor is just the next logical step. "From AMDs standpoint, Opteron makes sense," Crank said. "From a customer standpoint, it makes sense. And from an industry standpoint, it just makes sense. 64-bit is the future."
Conventional 32-bit software, meanwhile, seems to be running well on the new 64-bit platform, using AMDs 32-bit compatibility mode. "AMD finally said last week that theyve been testing [32-bit software] for over three months now," one customer said. "Its very robust. All 32-bit standard apps work. [Microsoft] Office works great. About 60 percent of the games work."