The need for a 64-bit x86 architecture is driven by applications that address large amounts of physical and virtual memory, such as high-performance servers, data base systems, and CAD tools. Many x86 server and workstation users are now facing the dilemma of how to transition to 64-bit computing and yet maintain compatibility with their existing code base, stick with existing tools and keep porting and development costs under control.
By extending the x86 architecture to 64-bits, rather than forcing users to embark on yet another instruction set/architecture adventure, users can maintain transition to 64-bits at their own pace and developers protect their investment in their existing tool chain and knowledge base.
My talk presents an overview of AMD's 64-bit x86 extensions, its design goals and tradeoffs.
About the speaker:
Kevin McGrath is a Senior Member of the Tecnical Staff at Advanced Micro Devices, where he works on microprocessor development. He holds a BS from California Polytechnic, SLO.
Kevin has been involved in microprocessor design and verification for number of years, first for HP (the HP 3000 series 64) and then for ELXSI. He took 5 years off to go sailing(!) and then joined Nexgen in 1990 where he did verification and the microcode for the Nx586. Later he joined AMD where he has worked on microarchitecture and has lead the microcode team for the K6 and K7 (Athlon). Currently he is architect of AMD's 64-bit x86 extensions and leads the microcode team for the K8 SledgeHammer.
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