Intel and Oracle come to blows over Itanium

Intel and Oracle are at odds over the future of Itanium processors.


Intel has reaffirmed its commitment to the Itanium architecture after Oracle announced it was to discontinue all software development on the microprocessor.

Larry Ellison's firm issued a statement on Tuesday, claiming it had spoken to Intel personnel, who indicated Itanium was on its way out.

"Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life," Oracle said, pointing out Microsoft and RedHat had also ditched the chip.

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The following day, Intel chief executive (CEO) Paul Otellini said Intel still had big plans for the processor family.

"Intel's work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule," Otellini said.

"We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture."

In Oracle's note, the firm claimed HP's chief executive Leo Apotheker "made no mention of Itanium in his long and detailed presentation on the future strategic direction of HP."

The Itanium architecture was born inside HP, which later went on to develop it with Intel.

Intel said it was developing two different Itanium products, including Poulson, which is set to more than double the performance of its predecessor.

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Kittson, the product to follow Poulson, is in development too and it appears Intel has a clear roadmap laid out for Itanium, a processor aimed at very high-end servers and high-performance computing.

At the other end of the scale, earlier this month, Intel launched a new family of processors designed for low-powered servers.

The Xeon X3 family consists of seven new chips targeted at the ever growing micro server market.

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