Print 29 comment(s) - last by ekv.. on Mar 26 at 5:20 AM

Oracle says no to Itanium  (Source: Intel)
Intel and HP are not happy

Intel has more processors than most consumers are aware of spanning categories that have nothing to do with notebooks, netbooks, and desktop computers that we use at home and in the office. Intel has a full line of Xeon and Itanium processors that it offers to computer makers for use in servers for businesses.

The Xeon processor line is Intel’s volume server processor line, while the Itanium processor --which isn't based on the x86 architecture -- sells in much lower volume for niche use in high-end data processing systems for financial, medical, and other uses. The Itanium processors are based on EPIC architecture, and do not support x86 software and operating systems.

That lack of support means that the companies that make software like Microsoft, Red Hat and Oracle have to develop versions of their software specifically to run on the Itanium processors. Oracle announced this week that it will stop developing new software for Itanium-based processors. Red Hat and Microsoft have previously made the same move to stop support. EWeek reports that Oracle decided to stop Itanium development after talks with people within Intel indicated that the chip giant was looking to wind down Itanium production.

A statement from Oracle said, "Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life."

However, Intel CEO Paul Otellini strenuously denies that statement. Otellini says that Intel is working hard on developing new Itanium processors and that processors are in the pipe and on schedule in the Itanium family.  The next generation Itanium processor is called Poulson and will reportedly use a new architecture that will allow Itanium to continue for years to come.

Otellini said, "Intel's work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule. We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multigenerational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture."

EWeek reports that Poulson will be a 32nm chip with up to eight cores with twice the performance of the Tukwila Itanium chip in use now. The follow up to Poulson called Kittson is also under development according to eWeek. HP is the largest user of Itanium processors and is not happy with Oracle's decision either.

HP's David Donatelli said, "We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit to limit fair competition."

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RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By fic2 on 3/24/2011 1:35:40 PM , Rating: 5
Except that:
A) Oracle now owns SPARC
B) Oracle probably makes more money on SPARC because of A
C) Oracle has a say in the SPARC future because of A
D) How do you know the break even point isn't 32%?
E) AFAIK Sun (now part of Oracle) never made Itanium systems
F) System revenue has nothing to do with software revenue
G) You report is 3 years old

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By finalfan on 3/24/2011 1:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
Your points are valid.

But what I want to point out is Oracle is not telling all the truth. It's not Itanium is dying. It's Oracle doesn't want to support competition's platform. Although there is nothing wrong about the move. Only its statement made itself ugly, as always.

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By fic2 on 3/24/2011 1:50:48 PM , Rating: 3
According to wiki ( Intel has stopped support for Itanium in it's Fortran and C/C++ compilers. If Intel won't even support it's own chip why should Oracle.

I doubt that Oracle will stop supporting x86 which is a competitors platform, too. It looks like they also support the IBM Power platform.

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By finalfan on 3/24/2011 2:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Every new major release of Intel compiler is to support new processor and intruction set. Since there is no new Itanium released in that period, there is no reason to release a new version for it. The previous release 11.1 is still available for purchase. And Intel is a major contributor to GCC. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Since HP is almost of sole system vendor of Itanium and HP is taking more serious in Software with previous SAP CEO in the helm, and also because of you-know-what-happened between Oracle and HP, the move is not a big surprise at all.

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By fic2 on 3/24/2011 3:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oracle has said that it will continue to support existing Itanium customers, too.

BTW, Intel has also canceled their yearly EPIC workshop:

Intel is saying one thing but seems to be doing the opposite.

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By finalfan on 3/24/2011 4:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
There is no EPIC workshop in 2003 and 2009 either. So...

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By JediJeb on 3/25/2011 1:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
Another thought, didn't the previous president of HP take a job with Oracle? Makes you wonder that Hurd might have to do with all this. If you want to bet back at your former employer just do something to help kill off an entire line of their products.

Let the conspiracy theories begin ;)

RE: Itanium is doing well actually
By ekv on 3/26/2011 5:20:40 AM , Rating: 2
Nice jab!

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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