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Intel Explores Transition to 64-Bit-Solely x86S Structure

Intel Explores Transition to 64-Bit-Solely x86S Structure

2023-05-20 11:26:17

Intel has revealed a brand new whitepaper (PDF) that envisions simplifying its processor instruction set structure (ISA). The principle thrust of the proposed transfer could be to pare again the in depth legacy help and go 64-bit solely with a brand new and simplified ‘Intel x86S’ structure. A number of technical advantages are outlined in an Intel developer blog post. In abstract, the legacy diminished x86S structure removes outdated execution modes to learn upcoming {hardware}, firmware, and software program implementations.

Many modern PC customers who take pleasure in utilizing the newest Home windows purposes and video games could have moved to 64-bit Home windows throughout the Home windows 7 period. This coincides with the time when system RAM quantities above 4 GB grew to become commonplace (a 32-bit OS can solely tackle 3.2 GB of RAM), and 64-bit purposes and video games began to develop into mainstream. So, with the present Home windows 11 OS being 64-bit solely and apps and video games sucking up gigabytes of RAM, it appears affordable for Intel to wish to consign architectural issues spanning all the way in which again to the unique 8086 chip to historical past.

“Intel 64 structure designs come out of reset in the identical state as the unique 8086 and require a sequence of code transitions to enter 64-bit mode,” Intel explains with regard to its legacy help. “As soon as working, these modes are usually not utilized in trendy purposes or working techniques.”

Intel x86S proposal

(Picture credit score: Intel)

So, it’s straightforward to grasp there might be advantages from architectural pruning, and the complicated booting course of outlined above could be the primary profit noticed by customers of recent Intel x86S chips. What are different advantages to customers and builders? Intel gives the next bullet factors:

See Also

  • Utilizing the simplified segmentation mannequin of 64-bit for segmentation help for 32-bit purposes, matching what trendy working techniques already use.
  • Eradicating ring 1 and a pair of (that are unused by trendy software program) and out of date segmentation options like gates.
  • Eradicating 16-bit addressing help.
  • Eliminating help for ring 3 I/O port accesses.
  • Eliminating string port I/O, which supported an out of date CPU-driven I/O mannequin.
  • Limiting native interrupt controller (APIC) use to X2APIC and take away legacy 8259 help.
  • Eradicating some unused working system mode bits.

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