Fedora project plans to use 64-bit and PAE kernels
The Fedora team plans to optimise the Linux distribution's versions for various system architectures. The 32-bit version for the x86 platform is to be built for i586 instead of i386 as it is currently. Given compatible hardware, an x86-64 kernel is to be used as standard, even when installing the distribution's 32-bit version. Wherever possible on 32-bit x86 systems, the developers intend to use a default PAE kernel. They will continue to use a 32-bit kernel for the 32-bit live CD.
The main advantage of using a x86-64 kernel in a 32-bit operating system is the considerably larger memory address range the kernel can make use of, allowing for systems with over 4GB of RAM. Due to the 32-bit userland, users won't need special 64-bit versions of their programs. 32-bit plug-ins for programs like Firefox run without the tricks that the users of the 64-bit version have to resort to, for example nspluginwrapper. The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, which decides on the integration of new features into the distribution, has accepted the changes proposed for the forthcoming Fedora 11.