IA vs x64 CPUs

Posted on 2010-01-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
what is the main purpose of having these 2 kinds of CPU 64 bit categories?

what benefits/limitations exists for both categories?

Question by:anushahanna
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Assisted Solution

by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 400 total points
ID: 26276318
IA stands for Itanium. A specific subset of Intel 64-bit CPUs.

Accepted Solution

AnilKumarSharma earned 1600 total points
ID: 26276412
For Intel 64-bit architecture formerly called IA-64.
Intel 64-bit CPUs extends the virtual and physical address spaces, doubles the width of the integer registers from 32 to 64 bits, increases the number of integer registers, and provides other enhancements. It is fully backwards compatible with 32-bit code without any performance loss. The generic term x86-64 is sometimes shortened to x64 as another vendor-neutral term for x86-64 processors from any company.

Itanium is a family of 64-bit Intel microprocessors targetted for explicit instruction level parellelism processing that implement the Intel Itanium architecture (formerly called IA-64). This helps to increase the number of instructions per clock cycle. The processors are marketed for use in enterprise servers and high-performance computing systems. The architecture originated at Hewlett-Packard (HP), and was later jointly developed by HP and Intel.

From above two, now the difference
The x86-64 specification is distinct from the Intel Itanium (formerly IA-64) architecture, which is not compatible on the native instruction set level with either the x86 or x86-64 architectures.

Author Comment

ID: 26326079
so IA is totally stand-alone, more costly, and more benefits and no compatibility, right?

Assisted Solution

AnilKumarSharma earned 1600 total points
ID: 26330974
See I provided the answer for "main purpose of having these 2 kinds of CPU 64 bit categories"
The pros and cons are always there, it is up to the person to wait them, for example scalability is one of the major point (like some approach toward making Supercomputers) for one while it is useless for the other (simple some desktop home user).

So IA is totally stand-alone?  from which point/perspective? For aliens the other one is not an alien for him. Its benefit are critical if that is the requirement that no other can do. (Systems based on the Itanium architecture often offer a variety hardware features that provide improved fault tolerance for mission-critical workloads.) check this below link -

Compatibility:- Itanium processors are not backwards compatible with traditional 32-bit x86 software. The single biggest issue software developers should face in porting source code to the Itanium platform is the changes in pointer size and fundamental integer types. As such, these differences should appear most prominently in C and C++ programs. Code written in Fortran*, COBOL*, Visual Basic*, and most other languages (except assembly language, which must be completely rewritten), will need no modification. A simple recompilation should be all that is needed. Java* code should not even need recompilation-Java classes should execute the same on a 64-bit JVM as on any 32-bit virtual machine.



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