HP scoops Gelato into Linux mix

Hewlett-Packard has announced the formation of the Gelato Federation, advancing its agenda to develop Intel's 64-bit Itanium...

Hewlett-Packard has announced the formation of the Gelato Federation, advancing its agenda to develop Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor family as a commodity chip platform for the Linux operating system.

HP expects the Gelato Federation - a former code name turned working title - to evolve into a worldwide organisation that advances Linux and Linux applications running on Intel's Itanium chips.

"The next-generation commodity chip platform for Linux will be Itanium. Today it's IA-32 - Pentium-class chips," said Martin Fink, general manager of HP's Linux systems operation.

HP has begun working with a number of Universities, such as the University of Waterloo in Canada, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Tsinghua University in Japan, to jump-start Gelato and its 64-bit Linux development. But the doors are wide open for all interested companies and developers to join the federation, said Fink.

"The main emphasis right now is on the universities," said Fink. "But anybody is invited to come and play. HP is just the main corporate sponsor."

HP's hope for the Gelato Federation is that it will blend ingredients from the research community, the Linux open-source community, and Intel's 64-bit Itanium chip family to solve problem of scalability, grid computing, and other architectures based on those three ingredients.

The specifics of what Gelato is trying to ultimately achieve "can get blurry", said Fink, who explained that "there is no specific end in sight, no time when we'll meet our mission and disband and go away. The research community will always come up with something new to challenge us. The problem set is so large we expect this to go on almost indefinitely".

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