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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Intel offers a complete transition to a 64-bit architecture in processors

Despite the fact that Windows 11 no longer even exists in a 32-bit version, offering only 64-bit, modern hardware can support not only 32-bit but also 16-bit computing. Intel has published a document that describes the benefits of completely abandoning the old modes and switching to a 64-bit architecture, which Intel also calls x86S-compatible.

Here are the points that the company highlights as advantages:

  • Use a simplified 64-bit segmentation model to support segmentation of 32-bit applications to match what modern operating systems already use.
  • Removal of rings 1 and 2 (which are not used by modern software) and legacy segmentation functions such as valves.
  • Removal of support for 16-bit addressing.
  • Elimination of support for access to ring I/O ports 3.
  • Exclude the I/O of a string port that supported the legacy CPU-managed I/O model.
  • Limit the use of the Local Interrupt Controller (APIC) to X2APIC and remove legacy 8259 support.
  • Removes some unused operating system mode bits.

The solution to the problems associated with the periodic need to run legacy operating systems Intel sees in virtual machines. Given that this company document contains only general provisions and does not contain any hints that Intel is going to switch exclusively to 64-bit architecture in the near future, it may be necessary to wait a very long time until such solutions appear on the market.

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