Less than 18 hours after the release of Linux 3.6, Linus Torvalds merged the first changes for version 3.7 into the main Linux kernel development tree. These included support for 64-bit ARM architecture (1, 2, 3, 4 and others), submitted for merger by ARM employee Catalin Marinas a little earlier.
The code for the architecture, officially known as AArch64, has been placed in a separate arch/arm64/ directory in the kernel source code, as requested by a number of kernel developers when the code was first presented. When queried via a program such as uname, the kernel continues to return the cumbersome "aarch64", which will also be used by other software involved in supporting 64-bit ARM architecture, including binutils, which has included support for AArch64 since version 126.96.36.199.2, and the AArch64 extension for the GCC currently under development. A 64-bit version of ARM using the ARMv8 command set was first announced in autumn 2011. Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AMCC) has now produced the first sample chips and is promising to release products containing 64-bit ARM cores later this year.