Transmeta Licenses Two Next-Generation AMD Technologies

AMD and Transmeta Corp. have signed licensing agreements that promote industry standards for next generation microprocessors. Specifically, Transmeta has licensed AMD's x86-64 technology and AMD's HyperTransport interconnect technology for their future x86 processors and technology initiatives.

HyperTransport interconnect technology is an innovative solution that moves information faster, enabling the chips inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to communicate with each other up to 48 times faster than with existing technologies. AMD's x86-64 technology is a straightforward approach to 64-bit computing. It builds upon the x86 instruction set, and seamlessly integrates into the current 32-bit computing and support environment. Compatible with today's 32-bit computing environment, AMD's x86-64 technology approach will enable enterprises to transition to 64-bit environments while preserving the billions of dollars in 32-bit hardware and software investments.

"AMD's x86-64 instruction extensions provide the best upward compatible path for adding 64-bit address capabilities to the x86 instruction set for the PC industry, and we applaud AMD for taking leadership on this issue," said David R. Ditzel, vice-chairman and CTO of Transmeta.

The x86-64 technology approach to 64-bit computing builds upon the x86 instruction set, one of the industry's most proven and widely supported technologies. Old PC applications will continue to run without a performance impact and new applications can take advantage of the larger address space. AMD x86-64 technology is designed to support applications that address memories as large as 2 to the 64th power, such as high performance servers, database management systems and CAD tools. The x86-64 technology seamlessly integrates into the current computing and support environment, and is designed to enable enterprises to deploy high performance 64-bit capable systems that build upon the billions of dollars already invested in 32-bit software.

AMD enhanced the current x86 instruction set by introducing two major features: a 64-bit extension called long mode, and register extensions. Long mode consists of two sub-modes: 64-bit mode, and compatibility mode. 64-bit mode supports new 64-bit code through the addition of eight general-purpose registers and widens them all along with the instruction pointer. It also adds eight 128-bit floating point registers. Compatibility mode supports existing 16-bit and 32-bit applications under a 64-bit operating system. In addition to long mode, the architecture also supports a pure x86 legacy mode, which preserves binary compatibility with existing 16-bit and 32-bit applications and operating systems.

HyperTransport interconnect technology is a high-speed, high-performance, point-to-point link for integrated circuits. It was developed to enable the chips inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to communicate with each other up to 48 times faster than with existing technologies. Compared with existing system interconnects that typically provide bandwidth up to 266 MBps, HyperTransport technology's bandwidth of 12.8 GBps represents up to a 48-fold increase in data throughput. HyperTransport technology provides an extremely fast connection that complements externally visible bus standards like the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), as well as emerging technologies like InfiniBand and 10 Gb Ethernet. The HyperTransport connection is designed to provide the bandwidth that the new InfiniBand and 10 Gb Ethernet standards require to communicate with memory and system components inside of next-generation servers and devices that may power the backbone infrastructure of the telecom industry.

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