SAN JOSE, Calif. - Is the end near for Intel's Corp. Itanium processor?
Oracle Inc. said that it has decided to discontinue all software development based on Intel's Itanium microprocessor. ''Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life,'' according to Oracle. Oracle has developed databases tuned for Itanium.
Intel, however, claims it is still committed to Itanium.
But in a surprise, the database giant also said that others have dropped work on Itanium. ''Both Microsoft and RedHat have already stopped developing software for Itanium,'' Oracle said in a release. ''HP CEO Leo Apotheker made no mention of Itanium in his long and detailed presentation on the future strategic direction of HP.''
Oracle will continue to provide customers with support for existing versions of Oracle software products that already run on Itanium.
Several years ago, Intel rolled out Itanium for high-end servers. The product was late and has been a major bust. Perhaps it is Intel's biggest mistake ever. Only a few companies haved shipped systems based on the processor.
The latest Itanium processor 9300 series, delivers more than double the performance of the previous generation, plus up to six times more memory bandwidth, up to nine times more interconnect bandwidth, and up to eight times more memory capacity.
Intel made the first technical disclosures about Poulson, its next-generation Itanium processor, at the recent International Solid State Circuits Conference here Monday. Intel said the 3.1 billion transistor CPU is the largest general-purpose processor it has designed to date. Poulson doubles to eight the number of cores and to 12 the number of instructions in flight in its pipeline.
In a blog, Intel issued a statement on its Web site. “Intel’s work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule,” said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, in the blog. “We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture.”
Poulson is Intel’s next generation 32-nm 8-core based Itanium chip, and is on track to more than double the performance of the existing Tukwila architecture. Kittson is an officially committed roadmap product for Itanium beyond Poulson and is also in active development. Intel Itanium processor industry momentum will be highlighted in a keynote at the upcoming Beijing Intel Developer’s Forum.