Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

Summary: Intel will preview its next Itanium processor and improvements include better power management, reliability and architecture. No timeline was set for the next Itanium, code-named Poulson.


Intel will preview its next Itanium processor on Sunday and improvements include better power management, reliability and architecture. No timeline was set for the next Itanium, code-named Poulson.

The next Itanium will be designed to take advantage of advances in the Xeon processor architecture. The two chips will also be pin compatible. Itanium is targeted at the Unix and mainframe markets. Xeons handle Windows, Solaris and Linux machines.

Rory M. McInerney, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and director of the Microprocessor Development Group, planned to preview Itanium at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

Among the key highlights from Poulson:

  • Eight cores;
  • 54MB on die memory;
  • Improvements to mainframe reliability;
  • Bandwidth improvements;
  • Compatible with the previous version of Itanium chips;
  • 32 nanometer process technology.

In some respects, Itanium and the Xeon are starting to look a lot alike. In a briefing, McInerney made the following points:

  • Itanium will be the first general purpose processor with 3.1 million transistors.
  • Intel will double the execution width from 6 to 12, but doesn't expect that customers will have to recompile applications. "The change will be pretty seamless," said McInerney.
  • Both Itanium and Xeon are "able to run all the mission critical applications out there."
  • The company wasn't prepared to talk about schedules or timelines. "We are happy about where we are and the quality of silicon we have," said McInerney.
  • Intel didn't disclose any details on hyperthreading in Itanium.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Intel

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  • With respect to the more gradual upgrade cycle for mainframes and servers

    than consumer products, Intel can and should take its time updating its Itanium and Xeon product lines, so as to avoid the kind of problem it had with its first batch of Sandy Bridge CPUs.

    Even had Intel not caught the problem with the SATA chipset for the Sandy Bridge in time, many consumers may not even notice it, as the problem may not even manifest itself in time for the next upgrade cycle. It would be much direr for such faults to find their way into institutional servers that run for decades, on which so many critical missions depend.
    Tech watcher
    • Wow, what kind of a STUPID corporation would have mission critical systems

      running for "decades" on obsolete platforms????? And, this Itanic junk should have been shelved a long time ago.
      • Your government at work

        @DonnieBoy Don't know any corporations that do this, but both the IRS and the Social Security Administration have mission-critical systems written in COBOL and Assembly code for the IBM 360. Most of the hardware these days is (I hope) z-Series, but I'd bet there's the occasional 370 or 43XX somewhere in the back rooms.

        I doubt those are the only two agencies in such shape. It would not surprise me to find out that the Dept of Labor is running a magnetic-core-based 360-something.
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

        @DonnieBoy - Just wondering whether you hate all Companies except Apple ?
      • jinishans, he hates all companies except Google

        Google can do no wrong, and for years has rallied against Apple, but since he can't deny Apple's lead in tablets and phones over Android, he has to begrudgingly praise them from time to time or look foolish.<br><br>Now, give it time and he'll manage to slip MS into the blog in some unflattering way.
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      • STUPID corporations, like banks, airlines, railroad operators, etc etc.

        Just to remind you that "cutting edge" is taken literally on such critical systems like Nuclear Reactors and Coal Power Plants.

        Then don't want a stinking virus to create a problem similar to the Japan nuclear crisis.

        Just witness what happened to Iran with Stuxnet, and yes, that was spread with the help of Windows.
  • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

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  • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

    Nobody cares about Itanium. Everybody uses x86-64.
  • They still make Itanic?

    For what, the 2 people that still use it?
    • Oh, come on

      I'm sure there are at least 5 people who use it. >_>
      Michael Alan Goff
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  • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

    What is missing here is the fact that Microsoft is dropping support for Itanium as is Red Hat. This leaves HP as the only vendor with a commercial OS (HP-UX) that runs on this chip. As I work for a company that runs HP-UX, this is important to me. However, with so many dropping support I see an end in sight. Much like I did when I used to run Alpha processors, I seem to always run the underdog.
    • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

      @astrange1 Easy to fix. Start a rumour that the next iPad is running on Itanium (Apple's own version the iX4 or something). Simple. Problem solved ;-)
  • RE: Intel previews next Itanium mainframe chip

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