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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
64 bit
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architecture A term describing a computer architecture based
around an ALU, registers, and data bus which are 64
bits wide.
64-bit processors are quite common in 1996, e.g. Digital
Alpha, versions of Sun SPARC, MIPS, IBM AS/4000.
the PowerPC and Intel are expected to move to 64 bits at
their next generation - PPC 620 and Intel P7.
A 64-bit address bus allows the processor to address 18
million gigabytes as opposed to the mere 4 gigabytes allowed
with 32 bits. There are in 1996 already hard disks which
can hold over 4GB. Floating point calculations can also be
more accurate.