PCs handle bigger computing challenges every day: Big file systems, large models, complex scenes. Designing a system architecture for increased computing needs requires changes from the ground up. The UNIX®-RISC world has already made this leap forward by architecting systems with 64-bit wide paths for memory addressing. And now, the x86 architecture is evolving to incorporate this bigger computing paradigm.
Such a major evolution in architecture will impact every component within a system platform, including operating systems and applications. The NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 media and communications processors (MCPs) are fully compatible with the new 64-bit AMD CPUs, while providing for investment protection of existing 32-bit applications. Whether users continue to use 32-bit operating environments or move to the new 64-bit environments, NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 MCPs will optimize application performance right from the start.
The AMD Strategy
AMD 64-bit processors, by innovatively supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit software, provide a painless transition for to future 64-bit applications while protecting investments in current 32-bit solutions. This feat is accomplished by evolving the x86 architecture to support three modes of execution:
- Legacy mode: 32-bit operating system with 16-bit and 32-bit applications
- 32-bit compatibility mode: 64-bit operating system with legacy (16-bit and 32-bit) applications
- 64-bit mode: 64-bit operating system with 64-bit compatible applications
The NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 MCPs provide optimized operation in all three modes. System designers can take advantage of the AMD-NVIDIA combination today to build optimized 32-bit compatible systems that also get the most out of 64-bit operating systems and applications.
NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 Technology
The 64-bit architectures represent a major advancement for applications that manage large and complex data sets. Efficient data transport throughout the system core becomes more critical in a 64-bit environment. NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 MCPs offer many innovations for the emerging 64-bit world:
- The first single-chip solutions for 64-bit processing platforms: The reduction of chip-to-chip interconnects results in lower overall system level latencies.
- Stability for professional computing environments: NVIDIA nForce products’ stability and the NVIDIA UDA (Unified Driver Architecture) provide system designers and users with investment protection.
- Advanced technology solutions: Includes built-in features for the latest network access technologies, NVIDIA RAID storage designs, and advanced I/O capabilities.
- Outstanding performance: Advanced technology solutions combined with HyperTransport technology provide unprecedented transfer rates to and from the CPU.
- 64-bit software: Industry-leading device drivers and system-level software technologies result in a marked difference between NVIDIA solutions and the competition.
Combined with the AMD 64-bit strategy, NVIDIA nForce4 and nForce3 MCPs provide the best possible path into the 64-bit world. All of the NVIDIA innovations contribute to solid performance and functional benefits for today’s applications, while laying a solid foundation for the emerging 64-bit operating environments and applications.