You may barely remember Intel's Itanium chip, but it's worth $3 billion to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which was awarded damages in a long-running lawsuit against Oracle.
The jury awarded the damages after finding that Oracle failed to comply with a 2012 court order to support the former HP's Itanium-based servers. Oracle said it would end support, but then a court ruled that it had to offer Itanium. The damage to HP's business was done if you were a tech buyer though.
In a nutshell, Itanium was a 64-bit processor that was a precursor to Intel's Xeon server chips.
Oracle will appeal so the battle isn't done yet. Oracle's Dorian Daley, general counsel, said:
Five years ago, Oracle made a software development announcement which accurately reflected the future of the Itanium microprocessor. Two trials have now demonstrated clearly that the Itanium chip was nearing end of life, HP knew it, and was actively hiding that fact from its customers. Oracle never believed it had a contract to continue to port our software to Itanium indefinitely and we do not believe so today; nevertheless, Oracle has been providing all its latest software for the Itanium systems since the original ruling while HP and Intel stopped developing systems years ago. Further, it is very clear that any contractual obligations were reciprocal and HP breached its own obligations. Now that both trials have concluded, we intend to appeal both today's ruling and the prior ruling from Judge Kleinberg.
As a refresher Oracle's move to pan Itanium was a big hit to HP's server business. Add Oracle's hiring of former HP CEO Mark Hurd and the drama was notable.
A walk down server processor lane:
- Time for the decoder ring: Oracle ends Itanium support, ruckus ensues
- Oracle will support HP Itanium systems: Can the FUD damage be reversed?
- Oracle to continue Itanium support for HP after court ruling
- HP wins over Oracle in Itanium legal battle
- HP Enterprise takes Oracle to court, demands $3B
- HP Itanium secrecy cost us $95 million, Oracle says