Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 13/5/2004You probably won't remember this, but we are now almost exactly halfway through the Year of the Itanium. This was announced by Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief operating officer, at the Fall 2003 Developer Forum, when he promised the company would ship a hundred thousand of the chips over the next twelve months.

Thursday 13/5/2004
You probably won't remember this, but we are now almost exactly halfway through the Year of the Itanium. This was announced by Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief operating officer, at the Fall 2003 Developer Forum, when he promised the company would ship a hundred thousand of the chips over the next twelve months. As the prodigal prodigy was shifting in the region of, ooooh, around three thousand a quarter when the Pauline Prophecy was uttered, this sounded like unrivalled optimism. Some of us were woken from our keynote stupor long enough to take notes.

So, here we are approaching the half-way mark. How are the shipments holding up, Intel? Intel? Hello? Ah, here's a reply from the company: "Our objective is that Itanium volume will double in 2004." Now, I'm not quite sure I can square that with the Otellini Utterance, even if I use 64-bit integer mathematics backed up with very long word instruction sets. Two times twelve thousand equals a hundred thousand. Hm.

Perhaps I should ask Mike Fister, who as head of Intel's server processor group has been one of the staunchest and most public -- not to say -- of Team Itanium's boosters for as long as memory serves. Over to you, Mike. Mike? Hello?

Mike's not there.

It seems as if the Year of the Itanium is in fact Six Months of Mike Fister. He's only gone and buggered off to Cadence Design Systems, a company who make the bits that let other companies make chips. They've hired the lad as CEO, which is a nice step up, and perhaps a sensible career move to make following some seventeen years at the old place, but it's a rum thing to do right in the middle of your Most Important Product's Most Important Year.

Never mind. At least he seems to have shaved off that moustache.