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AMD Developer Central: The One-Stop Shop for 64-bit Development
While AMD64 processors run 32-bit apps quickly, they truly shine at 64-bit computing. It's easy to learn how to turn 32-bit code into a 64-bit speedster when you join AMD's developer program and use the outstanding resources of AMD Developer Central. 

It's abundantly clear that the AMD64 architecture is the next big thing in microprocessors. System vendors small and large have discovered the price/performance benefits of AMD's 64-bit x86 compatible processors. While AMD64 processors run 32-bit applications at impressive speeds, they truly shine at 64-bit computing. But how does one take a garden-variety 32-bit code and turn on the 64-bit afterburner? It's easy to learn how when you make AMD Developer Central the first stop on your journey to unparalleled performance.

Knowledge Is Power
If knowledge is power, absorbing what AMD Developer Central has to offer will make you very powerful indeed. AMD has collected every resource that a 64-bit developer needs and made it available in a well-organized and searchable knowledge repository.

Looking for AMD64 developer guides, tips and tricks, conference presentations, and whitepapers? You'll find that and more at Developer Central. How about the latest 64-bit-ready development tools? Developer Central will point you in the right direction. Or maybe you want the advice of other knowledgeable developers. Well, then Developer Central's lively discussion forums are sure to meet your needs.

Get the Skinny on 64-bit Development
Now how many developers get excited about a product's documentation? The developers that want to succeed, that's who. One should never underestimate the value of building software on a well-documented infrastructure. AMD has gone the extra mile to ensure that you won't be up the creek because of some undocumented nuance in the AMD64 architecture.

The documentation at AMD Developer Central ranges from lively how-to tips and tricks to programmer manuals and technical references. For instance, if you're looking for an entertaining overview of how AMD Opteron support for large memory pages impacts JVM performance, this article from the DevX AMD64 DevSource portal is a real gem. Or maybe you just want the scoop on how C and C++ source-level optimizations can maximize 64-performance; you'll find the thoroughly detailed AMD64 Software Optimization Guide is packed with relevant details.

Oh, and don't forget to check out Developer Central's conference presentations and video section. AMD's luminaries have presented the AMD64 architecture at leading developer conferences such as GDC, WinHEC, Tech-Ed, and the Linux Summit. You can see what they have to say from the comfort of your favorite chair—no travel required.

Tools, Tools, and More Tools
As any software developer knows, the right tools can make the difference between success and failure. AMD knows this too and has worked with leading tool vendors to ensure widespread support for the AMD64 architecture (in addition to developing some of its own 64-bit tools).

Developer Central is the natural place to start the search for tools. It contains an extensive list of AMD64-ready compilers, debuggers, libraries, profilers, JVMs, and everything else. Did you know that there are five 64-bit Fortran compilers vying for your attention? How about the fact that AMD64 support is already a standard part of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET? And let's not forget AMD's superlative development tools, AMD CodeAnalyst, the AMD Core Math Library, and the AMD SimNow process simulator. And best of all—CodeAnalyst, ACML, and SimNow are all available to you at no cost!

If you're interested in better software performance—and who isn't—you'll just love AMD CodeAnalyst. The AMD CodeAnalyst Performance Analyzer is a suite of powerful tools that analyzes software performance on AMD microprocessors. CodeAnalyst performs system-wide profiling and supports the analysis of both user applications and kernel mode software. It provides four types of data collection and analysis: timer-based profiling (TBP), event-based profiling (EBP), pipeline simulation, and thread profiling.

The AMD Core Math Library (ACML) revs up serious number crunching with highly optimized numeric functions essential to mathematical, engineering, scientific and financial applications. Keep in mind that AMD partnered with the world-renowned Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) to build this library. The ACML combines the rigor and accuracy that NAG is famous for with the unsurpassed performance of AMD64 processors—truly a best of breed solution.

Developers of low-level code (BIOS, device drivers, etc.) may find AMD SimNow fits their needs. The SimNow simulator is a fast and configurable x86 and AMD64 dynamically-translating instruction-level platform simulator. With SimNow users can connect complex software models to form a PC platform emulation environment. SimNow emulates AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron uniprocessor and multiprocessor based systems that run several commercial operating systems and applications.

Hands-on Experience
There's no better way to learn than taking an immersive training course. AMD's training partner, MindShare, has pulled together some top-notch courses that offer an in-depth treatment of the AMD Opteron processor, the AMD64 architecture, and AMD's HyperTransport technology.

Once you're up to speed, you'll need some AMD hardware of your own. Before running out and grabbing the first AMD box you find, check out the savings offered by AMD's discount hardware program. High quality, robust, pre-configured AMD64 processor-based desktop systems, workstations and servers are available at discounted prices through AMD partner Colfax International.

If you're developing heavy-duty applications (i.e. high performance computing), you'll be glad to know that AMD's Developer Center offers a hands-on or virtual opportunity to develop, test, and optimize products on AMD's Athlon 64 and Opteron technology. Where else could you get your hands on an AMD64 cluster with 288 AMD Dual-Core Opteron processors?

But Wait, There's More
As if all this wasn't already enough, AMD Developer Central offers a rich community experience for AMD64 developers. The discussion forums are hopping with dozens of lively discussions. If for some reason you can't find an answer to your question in Developer Central's extensive documentation archives, the forums are the next place to turn. And be sure to take a gander at Developer Central's Developer Spotlight for stories of success on the road to 64-bits. Tell AMD your story and your company could be featured next.

Begin Your Journey, Now
The AMD Developer Central truly is your one-stop shop for 64-bit development knowledge. You provide the imagination, and AMD Developer Central provides the tools to help you create infinite possibilities. It's not too late to join AMD's developer program and put the outstanding resources of Developer Central to use, just click here to get started at no cost to you.



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Allan McNaughton, a veteran developer and long-time writer, is the principal at Technical Insight LLC, a firm specializing in the composition of high-technology white papers.