By Jakob Engblom
The new Freescale QorIQ P5020 SoC that was announced this week at the Freescale Technology Forum means that yet another chip family has now moved to 64 bits from 32 bits. This is a familiar scenario that has been played out many times before, starting in the mid-1990s as Sun, IBM and MIPS upgraded their server processor architectures to 64 bits. Before that, we had Intel extending the x86 family from 16 bits to 32 bits and IBM extending the System/360 architecture from 24 bits to 31 bits. Each time, the changed caused software pain for a while as the software is updated to work in the new world with more bits to use. It is also something that Simics has helped with in the past.