A 64-bit processor is a microprocessor with a word size of 64 bits, a requirement for memory and data intensive applications such as computer-aided design (CAD) applications, database management systems, technical and scientific applications, and high-performance servers. 64-bit computer architecture provides higher performance than 32-bit architecture by handling twice as many bits of information in the same clock cycle.
The 64-bit processor is backwards compatible with older applications and operating systems; it detects whether an application or operating system is 16-bit, 32-bit, or 64-bit and computes accordingly. This is essential for enterprise situations where purchasing new software is not feasible.Content Continues Below
Intel, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, and AMD currently develop or offer 64-bit processors.