64-bit

Computing Dictionary

64-bit definition

architecture
A term describing a computer architecture based around an ALU, registers and data bus which are 64 bits wide.
64-bit processors were quite common in 1996, e.g. Digital Alpha, versions of Sun SPARC, MIPS, IBM AS/4000. the PowerPC and Intel were expected to move to 64 bits at their next generation - PPC 620 and Intel P7.
A 64-bit address bus allows the processor to address 18 million gigabytes as opposed to the mere 4 gigabytes allowed with 32 bits. There were in 1996 already hard disks which can hold over 4GB. Floating point calculations can also be more accurate.
A 64-bit OS is needed as well to take advantage of the CPU. In 1996 there were only a few 64-bit operating systems, including OS/400, Digital Unix, Solaris (partialy). A 32-bit OS can run on a 64-bit CPU.
(2004-05-12)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: 64 question
Next Definition: 65
Words Near: 64-bit
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for 64-bit
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing 64-bit
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature