ARM, Microsoft Team up to Make 64-Bit ARM Windows
November 2, 2012 5:13 PM
New operating system(s) could target the consumer (mobile, traditional) and enterprise spaces
In the wake of ARM Holdings Plc.'s (
) announcement of the upcoming 2014
ARM Cortex-A50 cores
, ARM's first
, the company had more big news to share.
Ian Forsyth, program manager at ARM, announced this week that Microsoft Corp. (
) was onboard and the two companies were working together closely to make sure one or more versions of Windows support the new iteration of the low-power architecture.
Nandan Nayampally, head of ARM's processor marketing division,
in an email, "ARM works with all its OS and ecosystem partners to inform them on next generation technologies and enable their support."
The current version of Windows 8 for ARM chips -- Windows RT -- only supports 32-bit chips. Likewise, Windows Server 2012 is expected to bring ARM server chip support -- but no 64-bit support. That's not much of a problem because, as mentioned, 64-bit ARM CPUs won't land for another two years.
Samsung's Ativ Tab is among a crop of initial Windows RT products.
Early retail Windows RT products include Microsoft's Surface and ASUSTek Computer Inc. (
Vivo Tab RT
, both of which use NVIDIA Corp.'s (
) quad-core, 32-bit Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip (SoC). Dell, Inc.'s (
) XPS 10 and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) P8510 Ativ Tab instead use the dual-core variety of Qualcomm, Inc.'s (
, also a 32-bit chip.
x86 software does not run natively on ARM architecture chips, or vice versa. That means that any application you want to run will need to have been freshly recompiled for Windows on ARM (WOA).
The grunt work is not limited to recompilation. Microsoft will have a lot of hard work ahead looking to port and optimize Windows 8 or its successor to work with the new
ARMv8 64-bit instruction set extensions
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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