EE Times: 64-bit future for the X86?

“At the recent Microprocessor Forum, AMD disclosed that it is
implementing a 64-bit extension to the X86 instruction set in its
next-generation processor, code-named Sledgehammer. This initiative
shows how far AMD has come from merely duplicating Intel’s X86
designs-and how grand its ambitions are. Can AMD really challenge
IA-64 as the next-generation server architecture?”

“AMD faces many challenges. It has successfully established the
3DNow! instruction set extensions, showing that it doesn’t have to
slavishly follow Intel’s instruction set. Establishing a 64-bit
instruction set for enterprise-class servers is an entirely
different matter, however…”

Creating a Linux version for X86-64 should be a lot easier,
but whether any other versions of Unix support the architecture
remains to be seen.