Know Your History – the Evolution of 64-Bit Computing

When talking about technology, many people tend to focus on the future – where are we going, what should I buy next, how can we predict the next wave of innovation?

However, as any good futurist knows, one must deeply understand the history of a particular technology in order to know where it’s going. As we discuss the exciting news of 64-bit mobile computing, it’s advantageous to take a look at how we came to this point – what did 64-bit evolve from and who were the leaders in developing this technology? Read on for answers!

- IT Peer Network Administrator

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While it is gaining a lot of press attention, 64-bit mobile computing is not a surprise. It is simply the latest transitional step in the evolution of microprocessor technology. Intel has driven these transitions from the beginning, with the development of the first microprocessor in 1971, the 4004.

While not a complete history of the microprocessor, this timeline emphasizes Intel leadership in transitions that have led to 64-bit mobile computing. Note that in its first 15 years, the microprocessor evolved from 4-bit architecture to 32 bits, an eight-fold increase. Equally striking are the achievements of the last decade.

Not only did data handling capacity double again from 32 bits to 64 bits, but that processing power became more accessible to users, expanding steadily from the server to the PC and now to the mobile device.

This evolution does not merely reflect capacity growth. Intel has also packed many other innovations into its processors— technologies embedded into the silicon that deliver additional capabilities and performance benefits to users. These innovations include:

• Changes in the manufacturing process that allow smaller, more compact devices that consume less power.

• New instructions that accelerate processing, allowing users and applications to do more in less time.

• Changes in microarchitecture design that support more efficient energy use and data movement.

The Intel 64-bit processors based on Bay Trail microarchitecture, which Intel announced in the fall of 2013, bring a long history of Intel expertise and leadership to mobile architecture. The high-powered technology that first debuted for servers with Intel Itanium processors in 2001 now fits in your pocket on devices powered by Intel Atom processors or Intel Core processors.

For a more comprehensive view of these developments, check out A Map to 64-Bit Mobile Computing.

Want to know the full timeline behind 64-bit computing? Check out this infographic!

64-bit processors don’t operate alone - learn more about what’s needed to take full advantage of this tech development in 64-Bit Computing – It Takes an Ecosystem.

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