AMD has demonstrated a Hammer chip which it said can run both conventional 32-bit and 64-bit applications.
Designed to take on Intel in desktops and servers, the processor was shown in a 64-bit version of Linux as well as Microsoft Windows.
While 64-bit computers are more powerful than their 32-bit counterparts, few 64-bit applications exist in the Windows world.
AMD is targeting the chip at customers which plan to transition to 64-bit applications over time.
Ed Ellett, AMD's vice president of marketing in the computational products group, maintained that the Hammer chip will give users a smooth migration path to the 64-bit software of tomorrow.
Intel's Itanium processors handle 64-bit chips, but the Pentium family handles 32-bit applications.
Desktop versions of the first Hammer chips, codenamed Clawhammer, will hit the market towards the end of the year. Server versions are earmarked to follow in 2003.
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