Intel Moves Towards Itanium and Xeon Convergence
Anh Tuan Huynh
February 26, 2007 7:40 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
[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
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
-core is the first multi-core Itanium architecture.
is also the successor to
, 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.
The reference we had to
supporting CSI in 2007 was incorrect and has been removed.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Why is Itanium Still Alive?
2/27/2007 2:20:26 PM
Itanium was designed around the IA-64 instruction set, a 64-bit replacement instruction set for the outdated x86 instruction set that was originally designed by Intel for the 16-bit 8086 processor in 1978. The thinking was excellent, but the timing and marketing were extremely poor. Wikipedia has a very good synopsis here:
"IA-64 was based on Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC), in which the compiler lines up instructions for parallel execution. Itanium was designed to ensure compatibility with both Intel x86 and HP UNIX applications. During development, it was widely expected that IA-64 would become the dominant processor architecture for servers, workstations, and perhaps desktops, superseding the ubiquitous x86 architecture and providing an industry-standard architecture across an unprecedented range of computing platforms."
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