Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows Embedded. Defunct Windows families include Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh. On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones.
In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25 %. This comparison however may not be relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows show one third market share, similar to that for end user use; as of October 2018, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets and embedded devices is Windows 10. The most recent versions for server computers is Windows Server 2019. A specialized version of Windows runs on the Xbox One video game console. Microsoft, the developer of Windows, has registered several trademarks, each of which denote a family of Windows operating systems that target a specific sector of the computing industry; as of 2014, the following Windows families are being developed: Windows NT: Started as a family of operating systems with Windows NT 3.1, an operating system for server computers and workstations. It now consists of three operating system subfamilies that are released at the same time and share the same kernel: Windows: The operating system for mainstream personal computers and smartphones.
The latest version is Windows 10. The main competitor of this family is macOS by Apple for personal computers and Android for mobile devices. Windows Server: The operating system for server computers; the latest version is Windows Server 2019. Unlike its client sibling, it has adopted a strong naming scheme; the main competitor of this family is Linux. Windows PE: A lightweight version of its Windows sibling, meant to operate as a live operating system, used for installing Windows on bare-metal computers, recovery or troubleshooting purposes; the latest version is Windows PE 10. Windows IoT: Initially, Microsoft developed Windows CE as a general-purpose operating system for every device, too resource-limited to be called a full-fledged computer. However, Windows CE was renamed Windows Embedded Compact and was folded under Windows Compact trademark which consists of Windows Embedded Industry, Windows Embedded Professional, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Automotive.
The following Windows families are no longer being developed: Windows 9x: An operating system that targeted consumers market. Discontinued because of suboptimal performance. Microsoft now caters to the consumer market with Windows NT. Windows Mobile: The predecessor to Windows Phone, it was a mobile phone operating system; the first version was called Pocket PC 2000. The last version is Windows Mobile 6.5. Windows Phone: An operating system sold only to manufacturers of smartphones; the first version was Windows Phone 7, followed by Windows Phone 8, the last version Windows Phone 8.1. It was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile; the term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. These products are categorized as follows: The history of Windows dates back to 1981, when Microsoft started work on a program called "Interface Manager", it was announced in November 1983 under the name "Windows", but Windows 1.0 was not released until November 1985.
Windows 1.0 was to achieved little popularity. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system. The shell of Windows 1.0 is a program known as the MS-DOS Executive. Components included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Control Panel, Paint, Reversi and Write. Windows 1.0 does not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows are tiled. Only modal dialog boxes may appear over other windows. Microsoft sold as included Windows Development libraries with the C development environment, which included numerous windows samples. Windows 2.0 was released in December 1987, was more popular than its predecessor. It features several improvements to the user memory management. Windows 2.03 changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights. Windows 2.0
Central processing unit
A central processing unit called a central processor or main processor, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic and input/output operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term "central processing unit" at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more to its processing unit and control unit, distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry; the form and implementation of CPUs have changed over the course of their history, but their fundamental operation remains unchanged. Principal components of a CPU include the arithmetic logic unit that performs arithmetic and logic operations, processor registers that supply operands to the ALU and store the results of ALU operations and a control unit that orchestrates the fetching and execution of instructions by directing the coordinated operations of the ALU, registers and other components.
Most modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning they are contained on a single integrated circuit chip. An IC that contains a CPU may contain memory, peripheral interfaces, other components of a computer; some computers employ a multi-core processor, a single chip containing two or more CPUs called "cores". Array processors or vector processors have multiple processors that operate in parallel, with no unit considered central. There exists the concept of virtual CPUs which are an abstraction of dynamical aggregated computational resources. Early computers such as the ENIAC had to be physically rewired to perform different tasks, which caused these machines to be called "fixed-program computers". Since the term "CPU" is defined as a device for software execution, the earliest devices that could rightly be called CPUs came with the advent of the stored-program computer; the idea of a stored-program computer had been present in the design of J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly's ENIAC, but was omitted so that it could be finished sooner.
On June 30, 1945, before ENIAC was made, mathematician John von Neumann distributed the paper entitled First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC. It was the outline of a stored-program computer that would be completed in August 1949. EDVAC was designed to perform a certain number of instructions of various types; the programs written for EDVAC were to be stored in high-speed computer memory rather than specified by the physical wiring of the computer. This overcame a severe limitation of ENIAC, the considerable time and effort required to reconfigure the computer to perform a new task. With von Neumann's design, the program that EDVAC ran could be changed by changing the contents of the memory. EDVAC, was not the first stored-program computer. Early CPUs were custom designs used as part of a sometimes distinctive computer. However, this method of designing custom CPUs for a particular application has given way to the development of multi-purpose processors produced in large quantities; this standardization began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit.
The IC has allowed complex CPUs to be designed and manufactured to tolerances on the order of nanometers. Both the miniaturization and standardization of CPUs have increased the presence of digital devices in modern life far beyond the limited application of dedicated computing machines. Modern microprocessors appear in electronic devices ranging from automobiles to cellphones, sometimes in toys. While von Neumann is most credited with the design of the stored-program computer because of his design of EDVAC, the design became known as the von Neumann architecture, others before him, such as Konrad Zuse, had suggested and implemented similar ideas; the so-called Harvard architecture of the Harvard Mark I, completed before EDVAC used a stored-program design using punched paper tape rather than electronic memory. The key difference between the von Neumann and Harvard architectures is that the latter separates the storage and treatment of CPU instructions and data, while the former uses the same memory space for both.
Most modern CPUs are von Neumann in design, but CPUs with the Harvard architecture are seen as well in embedded applications. Relays and vacuum tubes were used as switching elements; the overall speed of a system is dependent on the speed of the switches. Tube computers like EDVAC tended to average eight hours between failures, whereas relay computers like the Harvard Mark I failed rarely. In the end, tube-based CPUs became dominant because the significant speed advantages afforded outweighed the reliability problems. Most of these early synchronous CPUs ran at low clock rates compared to modern microelectronic designs. Clock signal frequencies ranging from 100 kHz to 4 MHz were common at this time, limited by the speed of the switching de
Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by The Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, illumos and Solaris operating systems, its sibling, Firefox for Android, is available. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards. In 2017, Firefox began incorporating new technology under the code name Quantum to promote parallelism and a more intuitive user interface. An additional version, Firefox for iOS, was released on November 12, 2015. Due to platform restrictions, it uses the WebKit layout engine instead of Gecko, as with all other iOS web browsers. Firefox was created in 2002 under the codename "Phoenix" by the Mozilla community members who desired a standalone browser, rather than the Mozilla Application Suite bundle. During its beta phase, Firefox proved to be popular with its testers and was praised for its speed and add-ons compared to Microsoft's then-dominant Internet Explorer 6.
Firefox was released on November 9, 2004, challenged Internet Explorer's dominance with 60 million downloads within nine months. Firefox is the spiritual successor of Netscape Navigator, as the Mozilla community was created by Netscape in 1998 before their acquisition by AOL. Firefox usage grew to a peak of 32% at the end of 2009, with version 3.5 overtaking Internet Explorer 7, although not Internet Explorer as a whole. Usage declined in competition with Google Chrome; as of January 2019, Firefox has 9.5% usage share as a "desktop" browser, according to StatCounter, making it the second-most popular such web browser. Firefox is still the most popular desktop browser in a few countries including Cuba and Eritrea with 72.26% and 83.28% of the market share, respectively. According to Mozilla, in December 2014, there were half a billion Firefox users around the world; the project began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt, Blake Ross. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser.
To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird; the community-driven SeaMonkey was formed and replaced the Mozilla Application Suite in 2005. The Firefox project has undergone several name changes, it was titled Phoenix, which carried the implication of the mythical firebird that rose triumphantly from the ashes of its dead predecessor, in this case from the "ashes" of Netscape Navigator after it had been killed off by Microsoft Internet Explorer in the "First Browser War". Phoenix was renamed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser would always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion. After further pressure, on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox.
The name Firefox was said to be derived from a nickname of the red panda, which became the mascot for the newly named project. For the abbreviation of Firefox, Mozilla prefers Fx or fx, though it is abbreviated as FF; the Firefox project went through many versions before version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. In 2016, Mozilla announced a project known as Quantum, which sought to improve Firefox's Gecko engine and other components to improve Firefox's performance, modernize its architecture, transition the browser to a multi-process model; these improvements came in the wake of decreasing market share to Google Chrome, as well as concerns that its performance was lapsing in comparison. Despite its improvements, these changes required existing add-ons for Firefox to be made incompatible with newer versions, in favor of a new extension system, designed to be similar to Chrome and other recent browsers. Firefox 57, released in November 2017, was the first version to contain enhancements from Quantum, has thus been named Firefox Quantum.
Firefox supported add-ons using the XUL and XPCOM APIs, which allowed them to directly access and manipulate much of the browser's internal functionality. As they are not compatible with its m
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
In computing, a news aggregator termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or aggregator, is client software or a web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as online newspapers, blogs and video blogs in one location for easy viewing. RSS is a synchronized subscription system. RSS uses extensible markup language to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface; the updates distributed may include journal tables of contents, podcasts and news items. Visiting many separate websites to find out if content on the site has been updated can take a long time. Aggregation technology helps to consolidate many websites into one page that can show the new or updated information from many sites. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or personal newspaper. Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update.
The content is sometimes described as being pulled to the subscriber, as opposed to pushed with email or IM. Unlike recipients of some push information, the aggregator user can unsubscribe from a feed. RSS uses extensible markup language to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface. Before subscribing to RSS, users have to install either "feed reader" or "aggregator" applications in order to read RSS feed; the aggregator provides a consolidated view of the content in one browser display or desktop application. "Desktop applications offer the advantages of a richer user interface and of being able to provide some content when the computer is not connected to the Internet. Webbased feed readers offer the great convenience of allowing users to access up-to-date feeds from any Internet-connected computer." Although some applications will have an automated process to subscribe to a news feed, the basic way to subscribe is by clicking on the RSS icon and/or text link.
Aggregation features are built into web portal sites, in the web browsers themselves, in email applications or in application software designed for reading feeds. Aggregators with podcasting capabilities can automatically download media files, such as MP3 recordings. In some cases, these can be automatically loaded onto portable media players when they are connected to the end-user's computer. By 2011, so-called RSS-narrators appeared, which aggregated text-only news feeds, converted them into audio recordings for offline listening; the syndicated content an aggregator will retrieve and interpret is supplied in the form of RSS or other XML-formatted data, such as RDF/XML or Atom. RSS began in 1999 "when it was first introduced by Internet-browser pioneer Netscape". In the beginning, RSS was not a user-friendly gadget and it took some years to spread. "... RDF-based data model that people inside Netscape felt was too complicated for end users." The rise of RSS began in the early 2000s when the New York Times implemented RSS: "One of the first, most popular sites that offered users the option to subscribe to RSS feeds was the New York Times, the company’s implementation of the format was revered as the'tipping point' that cemented RSS’s position as a de facto standard."
"In 2005, major players in the web browser market started integrating the technology directly into their products, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari." As of 2015, according to BuiltWith.com, there were 20,516,036 live websites using RSS. Web aggregators gather material from a variety of sources for display in one location, they may additionally process the information after retrieval for individual clients. For instance, Google News gathers and publishes material independent of customers' needs while Awasu is created as an individual RSS tool to control and collect information according to clients' criteria. There are a variety of software applications and components available to collect, format and republish XML feeds, a demonstration of presentation-independent data. A news aggregator updates information from different sources in systematized way. "Some news aggregator services provide update services, whereby a user is updated with the latest news on a chosen topic."
Websites such as Google News, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Zero Hedge, Newsvine, World News Network and Daily Beast where aggregation is automatic, using algorithms which carry out contextual analysis and group similar stories together, while other sites supplement automatically-aggregated news headline RSS feeds from a number of reputable mainstream and alternative news outlets, while including their own articles in a separate section of the website. Some news aggregators offer subscription services to professionals. News aggregation websites began with content selected and entered by humans, while automated selection algorithms were developed to fill the content from a range of either automatically selected or manually added sources. Google News launched in 2002 using automated story selection, but humans could add sources to its search engine, while the older Yahoo News, as of 2005, used a combination of automated news crawlers and human editors. Web-based feeds readers allow users to find a web feed on the internet and add it to their feed reader.
Online feed readers include Bloglines, Inoreader, Facebook News Feed, Digg, News360, My Yahoo!, NewsBlur, Tiny Tiny RSS, Journali.sm. These are meant for personal use and are hosted on remote servers
MacOS is a series of graphical operating systems developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac family of computers. Within the market of desktop and home computers, by web usage, it is the second most used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows.macOS is the second major series of Macintosh operating systems. The first is colloquially called the "classic" Mac OS, introduced in 1984, the final release of, Mac OS 9 in 1999; the first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released in March 2001, with its first update, 10.1, arriving that year. After this, Apple began naming its releases after big cats, which lasted until OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Since OS X 10.9 Mavericks, releases have been named after locations in California. Apple shortened the name to "OS X" in 2012 and changed it to "macOS" in 2016, adopting the nomenclature that they were using for their other operating systems, iOS, watchOS, tvOS; the latest version is macOS Mojave, publicly released in September 2018.
Between 1999 and 2009, Apple sold. The initial version, Mac OS X Server 1.0, was released in 1999 with a user interface similar to Mac OS 8.5. After this, new versions were introduced concurrently with the desktop version of Mac OS X. Beginning with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the server functions were made available as a separate package on the Mac App Store.macOS is based on technologies developed between 1985 and 1997 at NeXT, a company that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs created after leaving the company. The "X" in Mac OS X and OS X is pronounced as such; the X was a prominent part of the operating system's brand identity and marketing in its early years, but receded in prominence since the release of Snow Leopard in 2009. UNIX 03 certification was achieved for the Intel version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and all releases from Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard up to the current version have UNIX 03 certification. MacOS shares its Unix-based core, named Darwin, many of its frameworks with iOS, tvOS and watchOS.
A modified version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was used for the first-generation Apple TV. Releases of Mac OS X from 1999 to 2005 ran on the PowerPC-based Macs of that period. After Apple announced that they were switching to Intel CPUs from 2006 onwards, versions were released for 32-bit and 64-bit Intel-based Macs. Versions from Mac OS X 10.7 Lion run on 64-bit Intel CPUs, in contrast to the ARM architecture used on iOS and watchOS devices, do not support PowerPC applications. The heritage of what would become macOS had originated at NeXT, a company founded by Steve Jobs following his departure from Apple in 1985. There, the Unix-like NeXTSTEP operating system was developed, launched in 1989; the kernel of NeXTSTEP is based upon the Mach kernel, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, with additional kernel layers and low-level user space code derived from parts of BSD. Its graphical user interface was built on top of an object-oriented GUI toolkit using the Objective-C programming language. Throughout the early 1990s, Apple had tried to create a "next-generation" OS to succeed its classic Mac OS through the Taligent and Gershwin projects, but all of them were abandoned.
This led Apple to purchase NeXT in 1996, allowing NeXTSTEP called OPENSTEP, to serve as the basis for Apple's next generation operating system. This purchase led to Steve Jobs returning to Apple as an interim, the permanent CEO, shepherding the transformation of the programmer-friendly OPENSTEP into a system that would be adopted by Apple's primary market of home users and creative professionals; the project was first code named "Rhapsody" and officially named Mac OS X. Mac OS X was presented as the tenth major version of Apple's operating system for Macintosh computers. Previous Macintosh operating systems were named using Arabic numerals, as with Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9; the letter "X" in Mac OS X's name refers to a Roman numeral. It is therefore pronounced "ten" in this context. However, it is commonly pronounced like the letter "X"; the first version of Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server 1.0, was a transitional product, featuring an interface resembling the classic Mac OS, though it was not compatible with software designed for the older system.
Consumer releases of Mac OS X included more backward compatibility. Mac OS applications could be rewritten to run natively via the Carbon API; the consumer version of Mac OS X was launched in 2001 with Mac OS X 10.0. Reviews were variable, with extensive praise for its sophisticated, glossy Aqua interface but criticizing it for sluggish performance. With Apple's popularity at a low, the makers of several classic Mac applications such as FrameMaker and PageMaker declined to develop new versions of their software for Mac OS X. Ars Technica columnist John Siracusa, who reviewed every major OS X release up to 10.10, described the early releases in retrospect as'dog-slow, feature poor' and Aqua as'unbearably slow and a huge resource hog'. Apple developed several new releases of Mac OS X. Siracusa's review of version 10.3, noted "It's strange to have gone from years of uncertainty and vaporware to a steady annual supply of major new operating system releases." Version 10.4, Tiger shocked executives at Microsoft by offering a number of features, such as fast file s
X86-64 is the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set. It introduces two new modes of operation, 64-bit mode and compatibility mode, along with a new 4-level paging mode. With 64-bit mode and the new paging mode, it supports vastly larger amounts of virtual memory and physical memory than is possible on its 32-bit predecessors, allowing programs to store larger amounts of data in memory. X86-64 expands general-purpose registers to 64-bit, as well extends the number of them from 8 to 16, provides numerous other enhancements. Floating point operations are supported via mandatory SSE2-like instructions, x87/MMX style registers are not used. In 64-bit mode, instructions are modified to support 64-bit addressing mode; the compatibility mode allows 16- and 32-bit user applications to run unmodified coexisting with 64-bit applications if the 64-bit operating system supports them. As the full x86 16-bit and 32-bit instruction sets remain implemented in hardware without any intervening emulation, these older executables can run with little or no performance penalty, while newer or modified applications can take advantage of new features of the processor design to achieve performance improvements.
A processor supporting x86-64 still powers on in real mode for full backward compatibility. The original specification, created by AMD and released in 2000, has been implemented by AMD, Intel and VIA; the AMD K8 processor was the first to implement it. This was the first significant addition to the x86 architecture designed by a company other than Intel. Intel was forced to follow suit and introduced a modified NetBurst family, software-compatible with AMD's specification. VIA Technologies introduced x86-64 with the VIA Nano; the x86-64 architecture is distinct from the Intel Itanium architecture, not compatible on the native instruction set level with the x86 architecture. Operating systems and applications written for one cannot be run on the other. AMD64 was created as an alternative to the radically different IA-64 architecture, designed by Intel and Hewlett Packard. Announced in 1999 while a full specification became available in August 2000, the AMD64 architecture was positioned by AMD from the beginning as an evolutionary way to add 64-bit computing capabilities to the existing x86 architecture, as opposed to Intel's approach of creating an new 64-bit architecture with IA-64.
The first AMD64-based processor, the Opteron, was released in April 2003. AMD's processors implementing the AMD64 architecture include Opteron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon II, Turion 64, Turion 64 X2, Phenom, Phenom II, FX, Fusion/APU and Ryzen/Epyc; the primary defining characteristic of AMD64 is the availability of 64-bit general-purpose processor registers, 64-bit integer arithmetic and logical operations, 64-bit virtual addresses. The designers took the opportunity to make other improvements as well; some of the most significant changes are described below. 64-bit integer capability All general-purpose registers are expanded from 32 bits to 64 bits, all arithmetic and logical operations, memory-to-register and register-to-memory operations, etc. can now operate directly on 64-bit integers. Pushes and pops on the stack default to 8-byte strides, pointers are 8 bytes wide. Additional registers In addition to increasing the size of the general-purpose registers, the number of named general-purpose registers is increased from eight in x86 to 16.
It is therefore possible to keep more local variables in registers rather than on the stack, to let registers hold accessed constants. AMD64 still has fewer registers than many RISC instruction sets or VLIW-like machines such as the IA-64. However, an AMD64 implementation may have far more internal registers than the number of architectural registers exposed by the instruction set. Additional XMM registers Similarly, the number of 128-bit XMM registers is increased from 8 to 16; the traditional x87 FPU register stack is not included in the register file size extension in 64-bit mode, compared with the XMM registers used by SSE2, which did get extended. The x87 register stack is not a simple register file although it does allow direct access to individual registers by low cost exchange operations. Larger virtual address space The AMD64 architecture defines a 64-bit virtual address format, of which the low-order 48 bits are used in current implementations; this allows up to 256 TB of virtual address space.
The architecture definition allows this limit to be raised in future implementations to the full 64 bits, exten