News Itanium Waves Goodbye As Intel Delivers Last Shipments of Now Forgotten Processor Family

waltc3

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Aug 4, 2019
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Itanium/RDRAM was where Intel wanted to take us; x86-64/DDR SDRAM was AMD's idea of the right direction. Hmmm...sort of easy to see who won that round...;)
 
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domih

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Jan 31, 2020
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IA-64 could not resist the AMD64 Opteron onslaught, that was the first foot in the tomb.

Then INTEL could see that Xeon was much more profitable, that was the second foot...

Amen.

CONCLUSION: never forget your roots and make a new thing incompatible.
 

Findecanor

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Apr 7, 2015
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The Itanium was quite a ridiculously complex CPU architecture, in my opinion. Quote contrary to the RISC idea of keeping things small and simple.
I've been told that one of the principal engineers behind it at Intel had died unexpectedly half-way, leaving the rest to supposedly misinterpret his ideas and do design by committee, turning it into a bloated mess that I would liken to hardware's counterpart to COBOL.

The Itanium project did leave one lasting legacy though: its standard ABI for C and C++, defining new better ways for doing such things as thread-local storage and table-based exception handling.
It has been so influential that ABI's for CPU's that came after it, including 64-bit x86 and ARM, have patterned theirs after Itanium's, with their documentation sometimes even referring back to the Itanium's.

Explicit parallel instruction computing (EPIC) is far from a dead concept. Most newer CPU and DSP architectures have incorporated it, but with more efficient instruction encoding.
 

mradr

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I wonder what they will want to try next in the same space/idea. The move away from x86 is already happening, so they can't stay on it forever. I wonder if we will start to see from Intel some type of Big.Little. x86 and instead of atom, ARM base cores. Or even better some type of hybrid core that can still support some of the x86 instructions with a full move to something else. Sort of like the M1 - just at a more hardware level.
 
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Johnpombrio

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I got to see the first Itanium CPUs when Intel brought in HP/Agilent test support to help finalize the design. They were about ready to launch the new products. It had the most amazing heatsink, a 5-pound hunk of passively cooled aluminum (there was a fan blowing across it but was not part of the heatsink itself). The biggest issue was pointed out during a slide presentation by my buddy doing the software support. The eye on the RAMBUS style memory modules was tiny so they could never get the speed high enough to compete with DRAM at the time. RISC, slow RAM, new chipsets, new UNIX software, all helped to sour the potential advantages of the new CPU. If they had waited 2-3 years for the technology to mature and allow the full potential? Might have been a much different story.
 

escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
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I know. Essentially Intel went IA-64, AMD developed x86-64, AMD won the war, and as a result AMD and Intel have royalty free cross licensing agreements for x86 and x64.
Not quite. IA-64 (despite having 64) is an entirely different architecture compared to x86. AMD64 came out in 1999 while IA-64 was 2 yrs later in 2001. IA-64 was only meant for very specific purpose, not mass market CPU.

I wouldn't say AMD won the war. BEcause Intel had the upperhand in CPU performance since C2D days (around 2007). At that time, Athlon64 was no longer competitive.

ITs more like Intel killed IA-64. With low cost multi-core CPUs coming out, there was no real need for expensive IA64.
 

escksu

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Aug 8, 2019
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IA-64 could not resist the AMD64 Opteron onslaught, that was the first foot in the tomb.

Then INTEL could see that Xeon was much more profitable, that was the second foot...

Amen.

CONCLUSION: never forget your roots and make a new thing incompatible.
Couldnt resist?? YOu forgotten that Opteron has just ~5% of the total server market share...
 

Johnpombrio

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With all of the Itanic jokes, HP and other vendors managed to sell several hundred thousand Itanium CPUs used in enterprise-critical systems and brought in billions of revenue to the companies involved. There were supercomputers based on Itanium, one being the 2nd fastest at the time. The Itanium family sold for 20 years and is still under support. There were plenty of other CPU "breakthrough" computer systems that did far, far worse.
 

Groveling_Wyrm

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The question in my mind is that now that Intel has stopped producing Itanium, what are they producing now with those fabs. Anyone have any info on those? I, personally would think that they are going to upgrade them to 7nm/5nm to catch up to TSMC.
 

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