Itanium schedule slides

Intel will carry out further testing on 64-bit chip, allowing revenue shipments to slip to the fourth quarter

Plans for Intel's super-powered Itanium chip, based on the new IA-64 architecture, have been delayed while Intel fine-tunes the new processor.

Intel had expected to begin making revenues on Itanium, which is aimed at servers and workstations, in the third quarter of this year but said those plans have slipped to the fourth quarter, the company said. Intel attributed the delay to the need to carry out further testing and further revise the product.

"We are just clarifying where Itanium sits now in our plans," said a senior Intel spokesman. "The revenue stream will begin to appear in Q4, when pilot systems start to ship from OEMs to customers. This is because of an extended evaluation process."

It had previously been possible that revenue would begin appearing in Q3, the spokesman confirmed.

Itanium is Intel's first push into a major new architecture since the introduction of 32-bit computing several years ago. The company expects the 64-bit architecture to eventually replace today's processors, but a completely revised system means software development will have to begin from scratch.

The chip is scheduled for general availability in the first half of next year. Advanced Micro Devices is readying a competing 64-bit chip, code-named Sledgehammer, which will be compatible with present-day software based on the x86 instruction set.

See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including an interactive timeline of AMD and Intel's upcoming product launches.

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