Intel Mulls Cutting Ties To 16 and 32-Bit Support

Intel has proposed a potential simplification of the x86 architecture by creating a new x86S architecture that removes certain old features, such as 16-bit and some elements of 32-bit support. A technical note on Intel’s developer blog proposes the change, with a 46-page white paper (PDF) providing more details. The Register reports: The result would be a family of processors which boot straight into x86-64 mode. That would mean bypassing the traditional series of transitions — 16-bit real mode to 32-bit protected mode to 64-bit long mode; or 16-bit mode straight into 64-bit mode — that chips are obliged to go through as the system starts up. […] Some of the changes are quite dramatic, although the impact upon how most people use computers today would probably be invisible — which is undoubtedly the idea.

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Source: Slashdot