Dell delivers no confidence vote in Itanium 2


Dell delivers no confidence vote in Itanium 2

Cliff Saran
Intel is due to roll out its flagship 64-bit Itanium 2 chip next week but Dell has admitted it is not interested in releasing machines based on the new platform.

The PC and server giant told it anticipates there will be little demand for 64-bit PC computing and said it will not be bringing out 64-bit Itanium 2 servers in the foreseeable future.

The Itanium 2 processor has been touted as the first true 64-bit processor from Intel that has been optimised for servers.

IBM and HP/Compaq are expected to introduce new Itanium 2 servers next week but a spokeswoman for Dell said the company would not launch the next generation of the IA-64 server until stronger customer demand materialises.

She said Dell would continue to sell its current generation IA-64 server, the PowerEdge 7150.

Dell believes that the primary use of Itanium-based servers today is in software development and that 64-bit operating systems and applications for the Itanium processor family are still in a development stage.

Commenting on Dell's decision, Ovum analyst Gary Barnett said that in the current economic climate PC manufacturers would struggle to find demand for 64-bit technology.

"It's fair to say there will not be many applications that will be optimised for 64-bit Windows and Linux," he said.

Barnett said Dell's strategy was clearly not to compete with Compaq in the data centre. Instead he said it competed on price and performance.

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