NVIDIA announced yesterday the end of driver support for all 32-bit operating systems and for any GPU architecture.
The company says that version 390 of its GPU video driver will be the last to support 32-bit platforms.
"Later driver release versions will not operate, nor install, on 32-bit operating systems," a company spokesperson said. "Driver enhancements, driver optimizations, and operating system features in driver versions after Release 390 will not be incorporated back into Release 390 or earlier versions."
Affected operating systems include FreeBSD, Linux, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10.
The only exception is security fixes. NVIDIA committed to providing security fixes for 32-bit drivers until January 2019.
Along with the end of support announcement for 32-bit operating systems, the company also announced the end of support for NVIDIA NVS products and NVIDIA Quad-buffered stereo features. The end of support date is the same —driver version 390. The current NVIDIA graphics driver version is 388.
The move is no surprise for industry insiders. Hardware vendors have mostly stopped producing 32-bit CPU architectures and most of today's CPUs are multi-core chipsets.
According to Steam statistics, 0.62% of all Windows-based Steam users are using a one-CPU platform, a good indicator of the number of 32-bit operating systems currently in use. This small market share is also one of the reasons why NVIDIA's EOL announcement went unnoticed even in the company's official forum.