Z/Architecture

Z/Architecture

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Z/Architecture

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Description:
z/Architecture, initially and briefly called ESA Modal Extensions (ESAME), refers to IBM's 64-bit computing architecture for the current generation of IBM mainframe computers. IBM introduced its first z/Architecture-based system, the zSeries Model 900, in late 2000. Later z/Architecture systems included the IBM z800, z990, z890, System z9 and the System z10. z/Architecture retains backward compatibility with previous 32-bit-data/31-bit-addressing architecture ESA/390 and its predecessors all the way back to the 32-bit-data/24-bit-addressing System/360.

The operating systems running on z/Architecture systems vary in how much they exploit the 64-bit design. Currently most operating systems, including z/OS, continue to restrict code execution to the first 2 GB (31 bits) of each virtual address space solely for reasons of efficiency and compatibility rather than architectural limits, allowing only data objects to reach into the higher 64-bit addressing ranges. Since z/OS's virtual memory implementation supports multiple 2 GB address spaces, this "restriction" still permits much more than 2 GB of concurrently resident program code. The 64-bit version of Linux on System z allows code to execute from 64-bit address ranges.

Among the other major operating systems, z/VSE Version 4, z/TPF Version 1, and z/VM Version 5, and presumably their successors, all require z/Architecture.

z/Architecture supports running multiple concurrent operating systems and applications even if they...
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