Are the Days of 32-Bit Chips Numbered?

Advanced Micro Devices will probably stop producing 32-bit processors by the end of 2005, a senior AMD executive predicts. "I think it will be in the '05 timetable. Late '05," said Marty Seyer, the vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. He was speaking during a panel discussion on AMD's 64-bit processors at the Comdex show here. Seyer added the caveat that AMD intends to keep selling 32-bit chips "literally as long as customers want them." But as the price of AMD's 64-bit Opteron and Athlon 64 processors drop, customers will have less reason to purchase 32-bit processors, he said.

Though the majority of AMD shipments are 32-bit processors today, its new 64-bit chips are designed to also run 32-bit applications without taking a hit in performance. AMD plans to ship tens of millions of 64-bit processors in 2004, largely by dropping prices of the processors so they are no longer more expensive than AMD's 32-bit chips, Seyer said. The company expects to ship between 50 and 100 million 64-bit processors over the next three years, he said.

News source: PCWorld

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