Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th May 2009 21:06 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems This morning, the Itanium Solutions Alliance put out a statement with some vague numbers showing the strength of the Itanium server platform in 2008. By IDC's reckoning of the server space in the fourth quarter, shipments of Itanium-based machines rose by 18 per cent and it was the seventh straight quarter of sales that crested above $1bn for the Itanium server category. Data from Gartner's report covering 2008's server sales indicated that Itanium machines outgrew RISC-based alternatives in terms of sales and shipments, growing share in each category.
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RE: Itanium is still around?
by Hypnos on Wed 6th May 2009 07:47 UTC in reply to "Itanium is still around?"
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

(I do not work in the industry, so experts should correct me if I'm wrong.)

Itanium basically took over the space previously occupied by Alpha: little-endian, RISC-based CPU designed from the ground up for 64-bit mathematical operations and memory addressing. Windows and OpenVMS run on it just like they continue to run on Alpha.

It is a clean architecture which in *theory* can deliver exceptional performance on a variety of workloads, by having the compiler sequence and package up to six instructions per cycle. Unfortunately, the compilers never got good enough to fully exploit this instruction parallelization.

Now, Itanium is stuck in the same restricted market as Alpha -- turn-key enterprise serving and scientific number crunching -- while x86-64 takes over the general server market because it supports the legacy x86-32 architecture and makes no special demands of compilers.

Edited 2009-05-06 08:06 UTC

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