Yesterday, AMD gave the public its first view of the upcoming Hammer processing chip, which will be hit the shelves at the end of the year. Hammer is unique in that it can run both 32- and 64-bit applications.
Although 64-bit applications generally perform better there is a Catch 22 for sellers. Few 64-bit chips mean people aren't willing to make applications. Few 64-bit applications mean people aren't willing to buy 64-bit chips.
AMD's Hammer may solve this problem. "Beyond performance, 'Hammer' will give users a smooth migration path to the 64-bit software of tomorrow, all the while preserving the billions of dollars of today's 32-bit software applications," AMD says.