Itanium mystery continues with Poulson plans

Intel is reassuring partners that Itanium isn’t dead, having given clues to its next edition at the Hot Chips conference, Stanford. Here comes Poulson.

There will be things like Intel Instruction Replay Technology, whatever that is, as well as 12-wide issue architecture. Poulson will be an eight core processor with 3.1 billion transistors. Intel says even by the 2012 launch penned in, it will be its most sophisticated processor. Later on Intel will introduce a successor, Kittson.

Despite calls from Oracle saying that Itanium is done and dusted, propped up mostly by what it claims is a misleading Hewlett Packard, Intel wants everyone to know it will continue with Itanium.

Alan Priestley, a Datacentre spokesperson for Intel, recently told TechEye that Itanium really is important to the future server strategy. “There are two keys that we have, one is Atom, one is Itanium,” Priestley said. “There’s a large sector of the marketplace utilised with Windows and Linux, and then another with Itanium. It is an important sector of the business for us.”

Poulson and Kittson, then, will have their advocates. “If you look at unit volume,” Priestley says, “by units, Itanium is a much lower volume, but it is aimed much further up the product stack. And those systems can be sold for a much higher revenue stream – we have to be honest, it is lower volume in the market place, if you look at the statistics that’s going to be pretty obvious.”

However, Priestley says, “there is still a substantial performance of end users in the risk unit market place. It’s less than it used to be because of the Xeon product line, but a lot of customers still spend money in that segment and customers are still buying in that segment to meet the demands of that part of the business.”

With the rumblings over at SAP, sorry, HP from Action Man Apotheker, there is a chance HP is well placed to be annoyingly disruptive to everyone in the chain. If Oracle’s accusations are true, that Itanium is kept on life support by HP and Intel wants rid, it puts Apotheker in a position of power to shake everyone by the collar.

Oracle recently released a statement called “HP knew all about Itanium end-of-life plans before Oracle found out”. In it, Ellison’s company claims Apotheker is certainly clued up about plans to drive Itanium out to a quiet rural road and leave it there. 

Intel clearly has Itanium plans for the time being. Oracle told TechEye that it can’t comment on third parties, but it “still stands by its public statement made in March”.