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Current Intel "Montecito" Itanium die
Intel's Itanium and Xeon architectures will have more similarities in the future

Intel’s enterprise Itanium and mainstream Xeon server platforms have remained completely independent from each other, in terms of technology. There has never been platform sharing, chipset sharing or anything else in that regards. However, Intel expects to converge the two server and workstation platforms. 

Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s senior vice president and co-general manager of the Digital Enterprise Group, outlined future convergence plans of Xeon and Itanium product lineups in an interview.

When asked how its Core and Itanium architectures will intertwine, Gelsinger responded “The first realization of that is Tukwila [quad-core Itanium] in late 2008, the next step in the product family, where we move to common system architecture elements, as well as full alignment on design tools and process.”

The upcoming Itanium Tukwila will take advantage of Intel’s common system interface, also known as CSI.

As Intel moves its Itanium and Xeon processors converge towards the common CSI-bus, the processors will share more similarities. Cache architectures of the two processors will become similar in the future, as there are no compelling reasons to have different cache architectures between Itanium and Xeon processors.

CSI-bus aside, Intel’s Tukwila-core is the first multi-core Itanium architecture. Tukwila is also the successor to Montecito, which Intel launched last year.

Intel expects to have common platform development as well. Common platforms will allow OEMs to have a single platform for Xeons and lower-end Itanium processors – easing OEM developments.

Those expecting Intel to produce a hybrid x86-64 and IA64 compatible processor will be disappointed, as Intel does not intend to take Itanium and Xeon convergence that far. “I don't see it getting that far, but I am driving these things to be as common as possible,” said Gelsinger.

Update 2/27/2007: The reference we had to Tigerton supporting CSI in 2007 was incorrect and has been removed.


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About time
By saratoga on 2/26/2007 9:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
This will be a good thing for Intel. Being able to reuse x86 tech in Itanium will make that platform a lot cheaper to maintain, and greatly slow its gradual disintegration, allowing Intel more time to recoup development costs.

I never understood why they kept delaying it; CSI should have been here a long time ago.




RE: About time
By enumae on 2/26/2007 11:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
Itanium is apparently doing better...

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS2057...

EPIC or Itanium-based systems grew 71.5% year over year, generating more than $1.1 billion in revenue for the quarter the first time the platform has exceeded $1B in revenue in a quarter.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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