"It has been 14 years since the first 64-bit processor--the MIPS
R4000--found its way into a workstation. 64-bit workstations once
cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, but the
introduction of high-performance, low-cost 64-bit CPUs from AMD and
Intel has changed the industry's attitude toward workstation
design. New architectures are forcing old hardware into
obsolescence, but free software can extend those old systems'
"The first of the recent generation of 64-bit processors debuted
when Intel introduced the Itanium (which has since gone out of
production) in June 2001..."