Intel's Itanium - to be or not to be?

Posted on Saturday, January 28 2006 @ 0:55 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
DigiTimes published the final part of their Q&A with Nebojsa Novakovic, a consultant in high-end computing systems. Today one of the main subjects is Intel's Itanium processor.
Q: If, as you say, the Merom/Conroe/Woodcrest core could well restore dominance for Intel on x86, that then leaves the question of IA-64 and the future of the Itanium. Many in the industry seem to be involved in a guessing game about the future of the Itanium. What are your own thoughts?

A: I have heard an interesting rumor that Intel always was planning to have a 64-bit x86 CPU. After all, 64-bit x86 does work, and it works pretty well. It is probably the most elegant version of x86 we have, and a compiler will hide some of the worst aspects of the architecture. If you program in x86 64-bit mode, the registers are all in sync (there are no proprietary accumulators, and so on), and floating-point (FP) performance will be quite elegant. So you are not that badly off with 64-bit x86, and you are certainly not as badly off as you would be with something like Itanium.
You can read it over here.

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