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We managed to find out some more information about Intel Prescott processor than the Santa Clara, California-based company wants everybody to know. According to a source whishing to remain anonymous, Intel’s next-generation NetBurst CPU code-named Prescott does have 64-bit extensions. But Intel does not desire to enable them because of some reasons, the source added.

Apparently, the extensions may be a part of the well-known Yamhill project and will not be compatible with AMD’s 64-bit extensions available now in AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors.

Intel’s top managers have been considering the enablement of the 64-bit extensions in Prescott and Tejas processors for some time now, but no final decisions have been made. What we know for sure is that Intel is not likely to turn on additional functionality of the Prescott processor until 2005, probably when AMD’s 64-bit processors become more or less wide-spread on the market and may affect Intel’s sales.

Intel has been saying that its 32-bit and 64-bit processors will co-exist totally independently in different market segments and has never confirmed plans to implement 64-bit extensions into its IA32 chips. Intel Itanium processors, on the other hand, can emulate conventional x86, but not really fast.

Since implementation of 64-bit extensions into desktop and entry-level server processors may potentially delay the appearance of IA64 software for desktop and cost-effective server applications, Intel should act very cautiously in respect of 64-bit extensions to IA32 chips, as the company’s long-term target seems to be the Itanium and its architecture.

Historically additional CPU instructions deployed by Intel have been more successful that those introduced by AMD due to numerous reasons. Therefore, Intel adding 64-bit functionality into its Prescott chips and derivatives may be a negative news for AMD.

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