Intel rival AMD said the tool would enable software developers to test programs written for the 64-bit Hammer architecture in time for the planned introduction of the processors in the first half of 2002.
Stockholm-based Virtutech's Simics software allows computers with AMD's 32-bit Athlon processors to simulate the operations performed by its 64-bit successors.
Processors using 64-bit technology can handle chunks of data at a greater speed, enabling more power-hungry applications such as large databases to run more quickly. This technology makes the chips attractive to the server market.
Competition between Intel and arch-rival AMD has moved from the desktop to the high-end computing arena, with both firms readying 64-bit hardware.
Unlike Intel's forthcoming 64-bit range of processors, known as IA-64, AMD's Hammer lineup will still be able to run 32-bit applications. Intel has created a new instruction set--EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing)--to power its IA-64 range.