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Intel reaffirms its faith in Itanium 2

Despite attracting negative publicity since its launch, Itanium 2-based products have a bright future says its manufacturer Intel.

Itanium 2 was touted to be at the heart of a whole host of 64-bit computing products but firm competition from AMD and the extension of Intel’s own Xeon range of chips into 64-bit. Furthermore, Itanium 2 has also suffered by a general perception that the technology had been adopted only by HP among the giant mainstream computer manufacturers.

At a conference dedicated to Itanium 2, Intel admitted that hitherto the Itanium rollout could have been better, but it expressed confidence that Itanium 2-based products would prosper. Intel is to embark on plans to firmly establish Itanium 2 as a RISC technology replacement rather than a generic 64-bit destination with 64-bit Xeon processors driving the desktop transition.

As for platforms, Intel accepted that whilst HP accounted for the bulk of Itanium 2 shipments, the processors also saw increased use in platforms from manufacturers such as SGI, Hitachi, Unisys, Fujitsu, Bull and NEC. Furthermore, Intel says that by the second half of 2005, Itanium 2–based machines were running nearly 600 applications including those from Oracle, SAP, RSA, SQL Server, CA, Veritas and Parasoft.

Intel also revealed that the next generation of Itanium 2 chips, branded Montecito, will be released in summer 2006.

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