AMD this week demonstrated a Linux simulation tool to try and woo software developers over to Hammer, its forthcoming rival to Intel's Itanium processor.
At the Linuxworld show in New York this week, AMD unveiled Virtuhammer, which it developed with Virtutech. The tool enables programmers to write and test programs that run on the chip maker's Hammer range of 64bit server processors.
Analysts believe AMD urgently needs to attract Linux developers to Hammer because it could be a long time before high-profile operating systems such as Sun's Solaris and Microsoft's Windows are ported over to the chip.
Kevin Krewell, an analyst at chip consultancy MicroDesign Resources, said: "Linux is the only operating system that could be ported to [Hammer] in a timely fashion. While Sun has indicated potential Solaris support, it would no doubt be a low priority for Sun as AMD has no significant market share in servers."
Microsoft, on the other hand, already has its hands full porting its operating systems to Intel's Itanium, which it committed to well before AMD announced Hammer.
Krewell added: "AMD is attempting to enter this market this year and [begin shipping] 64-bit chips in the first half of 2002, but it has a long way to go before being considered a real player in the market."
AMD first introduced its 64bit technology specification at Linuxworld in August last year, and the open source community has since created compliant software development tools, including the GNU C compiler and Binary Build Tools.
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