Tool vendors support AMD's Hammer chips

Several vendors of tools for software development announced their support for Advanced Micro Devices's (AMD) upcoming Opteron and...

Several vendors of tools for software development announced their support for Advanced Micro Devices's (AMD) upcoming Opteron and Athlon chips.

Etnus, MigraTec, Numerical Algorithms Group and STMicroelectronics will release versions of their existing products for the chips, which adds to the number of software and hardware vendors that have already pledged support.

Hammer is the code name for AMD's x86-64 technology, which blends 64-bit technology with the x86 microprocessor family run by most of the world's computers, so software written for AMD's older 32-bit technology will be able to run on Hammer chips without being recompiled. Opteron is the chip for servers and workstations, while AMD will keep its Athlon desktop brand name, for the new Hammer desktop chip.

The announcement brings AMD's partners closer to being able to piece together a PC or server with products designed for the x86-64 technology, said John Crank, senior branding associate in the Athlon product line.

Several internal component vendors, such as Via Technologies and Nvidia, have announced support for Hammer, and Microsoft will develop a version of Windows optimised for the chips.

STMicroelectronics' Portland Group Complier Technology will allow developers to create software using C and C++, two of the most popular programming languages in use, Crank said. Etnus will bring its TotalView debugger product, which already supports 32-bit Athlon processors, to Hammer, it said in a release.

MigraTec makes 64Express, a source-code migration tool that will allow developers to take code written for 32-bit machines and port it to 64-bit ones, the company said. NAG manufactures numerical libraries that save time for software developers and get high performance out of 64-bit technology, NAG said.

Athlon will be out late this year, while Opteron is expected in the first half of 2003, said Crank.. Opteron will join Intel's Itanium 2 in trying to grab market share away from proprietary Unix server vendors such as Sun Microsystems and IBM.

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