Itanium shown off at LinuxWorld

NEC, Intel and SGI show off 64-bit prototypes

Several vendors are displaying early versions of Intel's first 64-bit processor, Itanium, at LinuxWorld this week.

NEC, Intel and Silicon Graphics are showing off the chip, whose launch was recently delayed by a quarter due to testing problems. Itanium, the first chip based on the IA-64 platform, is to compete against high-end server chips such as the Alpha from Compaq. The demonstrations provide a rare glimpse of the processor in action, and will be repeated at the upcoming Intel Developer Forum.

NEC demonstrated Itanium running a prototype 16-processor system called AzusA with the TurboLinux operating system, calculating a Mandelbrot set derivation.

"This is the first time ever in the world that 64-bit Linux operating system has been demonstrated on an Intel Itanium system with more than four processors," said Minoru Terao, head of NEC Solutions' Computer System Division One, in a statement. "NEC has been actively involved with IA-64 Linux Project and has made numerous contributions to the project in the process of the development of AzusA."

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is to release a competing 64-bit chip called SledgeHammer later this year.

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