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Intel Unveils Next Gen Itanium Processor

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the who-doesn't-like-faster dept.

Intel 169

MojoKid writes "This week, at ISSCC Intel unveiled its next-generation Itanium processor, codenamed Poulson. This new design is easily the most significant update to Itanium Intel has ever built and could upset the current balance of power at the highest-end of the server / mainframe market. It may also be the Itanium that fully redeems the brand name and sheds the last vestiges of negativity that have dogged the chip since it launched ten years ago. Poulson incorporates a number of advances in its record-breaking 3.1 Billion transistors. It's socket-compatible with the older Tukwila processors and offers up to eight cores and 54MB of on-die memory."

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169 comments

His name was Robert Paulson (3, Funny)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300608)

Guess the guys at Intel have been watching Fight Club a little too much.

Re:His name was Robert Paulson (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300706)

"I understand. In death, we have names..."

This the itanium team; but could they have chosen something a little less, er, pessimistic?

Re:His name was Robert Paulson (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301392)

> This the itanium team; but could they have chosen something a little less, er, pessimistic?

Well, this IS Project Mayhem...! :-)

Re:His name was Robert Paulson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300990)

"His name was Robert Paulson." This is precisely what I was thinking. Kudos for reading my mind.

Re:His name was Robert Paulson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301056)

Nah I think it was Henry Paulson, ex-CEO Goldman Sachs, Bush's Treasury Secretary who instigated the TARP bailout.

A rather hip reference to the house of cards Wall Street built atop subprime mortgages, calculating credit-adjusted values using Intel's original Pentium FPU....

Poulson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300620)

Its name is Robert Poulson

Itanium flashbacks (4, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300648)

Does anyone else cringe when they here Itanium? The early chips still give me nightmares.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300702)

Obviously, lots of people cringe, and even TFS refers to it as a possible redemption of the Itanium line's name (i.e. its reputation was pretty lousy to begin with).

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300762)

may also be the Itanium that fully redeems the brand name

Conversely, it may NOT.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300808)

I work with the world's foremost experts on optimizing for Itanium 2. All available compilers suck. If you are willing to invest the effort to hand tweek, you can squeeze amazing performance out of the processors. They are extremely memory bound (hence 54MB cache now on chip). It is usually faster to recalculate numerical values than to fetch stored results.

We work with large high performance computing systems/clusters. IBM Power 7 is fastest hands down for numerical work if you plan to use the crap output from the compiler directly. Recent Intel Xeon is as fast as Power 7 if you adjust all the fiddly settings and use some trial and error, but Xeon doesn't scale well for Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP). Itanium 2 wins by a bit if you invest huge effort. Power 7 would probably be fastest overall for numerical work if we invested the same effort into optimizing that we do for Itanium. However, we don't have to invest the effort for Power 7 to be "fast enough".

Re:Itanium flashbacks (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301140)

Would the same optimizations for the Itanium work OK for the Itanium 2 and for the upcoming Itanium? Or would the optimizations be too generation specific?

AFAIK the problem with the Itanic was the Itanic was better at "embarrassingly parallel" problems. But that meant you could usually get the same (or better) performance with two or more x86 servers at a lower cost... And the x86 processors would do better than the Itanic on code that's not been optimized by super experts.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301282)

The big problem is that the new chip has doubled the issue width. For the Itanium 2 you would write code to execute 6 instructions in parallel; now you want to run 12 instructions in parallel. The optimization is still the same in principle (you're just tweaking a parameter from 6 to 12 for code generation) but even getting 6 instructions together without a stop was very difficult in some situations. Architecturally it's all still the same, though.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301320)

It looks like it's just going to execute two threads in parallel, with an instruction bundle from each thread every cycle. That shouldn't be too bad, as long as you have two CPU-bound threads... this almost looks like it's comparable to a 16-core "Tukwila."

Re:Itanium flashbacks (4, Funny)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301284)

| I work with the world's foremost experts on optimizing for Itanium 2....

So when your whole team orders lunch, do you get a medium pizza or a large?

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301396)

Memory bandwidth seems to be the next big bottle neck. I wonder what is the "ideal" memory to CPU ratio.
I wonder what it would be like to have a system with no real ram just cache. Imagine CPUs with 4 GB of cache in a system where all the memory above 32bits was the cache of another CPU. You could access the memory of the other CPU as the speed of RAM today. It would be a really massive MP system to be sure. Of course then you would still want some RAM even if it just for DMA IO and Video.
Yea I am sure I am combing up with a total fail at some level and some EE on here will tell me why but from a software point of view it interests me.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301920)

The cache has to be backed by *something*. Either that, or you have to have some protocol wherein when you kick the last copy of something out of one cache, you arrange for it to get stored in another, in which case it isn't really a cache at that level so much as a set of dynamically assigned addresses system-wide.

Consider a smaller system first as an example. Suppose you had two CPUs, each only one level of cache, and each with 1MB. That's 2MB total system memory. Now suppose the first CPU reads through all 2MB twice, bringing all of it through its 1MB cache. It'd have to send the bits it wasn't using to the other CPU's cache while it wasn't stored in its own cache--ie. it's have to exchange data with the other cache as opposed to merely copying it as caches do today. The net effect is that you're just changing the current home for the data, since there's no system RAM outside of these "caches" that serves as the canonical home for the data .

It's not that such a system couldn't work, but it would probably be impractical for large memories and certain workloads. For example, suppose both processors are reading from the same large database, and the database is largely read-only. In this system, there's no opportunity for both CPUs to simultaneously have a copy of the data that they're both sharing. The data would have to ping back and forth

You could combine this with more ordinary caches. For example, add another 512K cache to each CPU between the CPU and the 1MB I described above. Now the CPUs could each have copies of read-only stuff and shared stuff, but the final home for the data would still migrate among the CPUs. It'd perform OK until you stopped fitting in the smaller cache. This is roughly what large NUMA machines do with page migration. The operating system has to manage that though to make it work well. Normal virtual memory translation mechanisms allow you to move a virtual page to different physical memories attached to other CPUs without the application knowing. It's like the cache idea you described, but managed by the OS.

The problem with huge hardware caches is the lookup penalty. For each cache block, you have to keep track of what address maps to the cache block. If you're distributing this through the system, then you need some sort of directory mechanism to find the cache block of interest. This isn't intractable mind you--it's a similar problem to finding a cell phone in the cell phone network, but it is expensive and complicated to get right in hardware. And unlike the cell phone network, it can't just send a call to voice mail when it can't find what it's looking for. That's why we push much of this to software and let the OS handle it at the page level. It can apply more sophisticated algorithms, and crucially, it can be patched when we find bugs.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302278)

I was thinking of Cache as being more like on board fast ram that ran at CPU speed than as cache as we see it today.
To take your database example the way I imagine it working is a CPU would send commands to all the CPUs to find the records that contain x. Each CPU would search it's own memory of records and then just transmit the records to the requesting CPU. It would take a differn't programing model that what we use today. In a way I was thinking of it as smart ram. It seems dumb that a CPU has to read a value do a compair and then read the next value. If the CPU could send a command to the ram to incement a value or do search it contents for a string or values you could really cut down on the memory band width.
But this is all pipe dreams from a software guy so any hardware experts just understand that I am just thinking out loud and really do not think I know more than you guys do.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302636)

From a software perspective, all you are asking is: what would a ccNUMA machine look like if the local memory on each node was as fast, small, and expensive as today's level 2 (or level 3) cache? You would also still need local buffer/cache for handling the remote memory contents while you are in the process of reading or writing them, but that's just a minor detail.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301408)

Bullshit. Names and places or it didn't happen.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301742)

Bullshit. Names and places or it didn't happen.

Says AC.

(Says AC.)

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301764)

I work for the world's secondmost experts on optimizing for Itanium 2. We order a small pizza. Usually we're not that hungry after a half-days work on this. We've lost our appetites completely by the end of each day.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302214)

So it runs like a bat out of hell when you massage it correctly. Good for you. Know what we call a processor that nobody can write a decent software stack for? A shitty processor.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302396)

I work with the world's foremost experts on optimizing for Itanium 2. All available compilers suck.

I sometimes work on compilers for HPC, and this is caused by two, related, things. The first one is that no one cares. Itanium is such a small market that, even if you can get both Itanium users to buy your compiler, it's not worth the investment.

IBM Power 7 is fastest hands down for numerical work if you plan to use the crap output from the compiler directly.

POWER 7 is a pretty generic RISC design with a few CISCy tweaks. We've got 40 years and millions of dollars of research to look at when designing compilers for it. For Itanium? Not so much. It doesn't help that Itanium is so unlike everything else that it's hard to share optimisations. Optimisation code in the middle end can be shared easily among MIPS, SPARC, and POWER, and mostly with x86, but with Itanium may actually be pessimising the code.

It's a shame, because I actually like a lot of things about the Itanium, and I'd be quite interested in working on optimisations for it, but no one is willing to pay enough to make it worthwhile.

However, we don't have to invest the effort for Power 7 to be "fast enough".

POWER has the same advantage that C has, when it comes to performance: a pretty crappy compiler can give good performance. Take a look at TCC sometime - it's about as primitive as it's possible to be and still be a C compiler, yet still delivers okay (though not great) performance in most cases. Now compare a crappy Java implementation to a good one - the difference is far more pronounced. It's the same with Itanium - the compiler needs to be very clever to get good performance, and for the same reason. C presents the programmer with an abstract machine that is basically a PDP-11, and the POWER 7 is sufficiently similar to a PDP-11 that it's a pretty trivial mapping. Once you've done that, you can tweak for more performance. Java presents an abstract model closer to a B5000, so you first have to map that to something more like a PDP-11, then to the native chip. The Itanium provides a concrete model that is not very like the C abstract model, so compiling C for Itanium is a pain. Something like APL might be easier, but I've not heard of anyone actually using APL for a while.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300832)

The graph in TFA showing sales projections versus year is hilarious. The actual sales line barely registers on the scale of the initial projections.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300894)

I cringe when people write "here" when they mean "hear."

Or "it's" when they mean "its"

And to, too, and two. etc

Yup, sometimes my fingers type here when I meant hear, etc. That's why I read what I wrote before I press Submit.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300942)

I twond that.

Ultimate Computer of Failure (3, Funny)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301218)

ITANIC processor
RAMBUS memory
Voodoo5 video card
i can't think of a hard drive crappy enough ... maybe you could have the OS installed on an external drive connected via USB1.0.

obviously the OS would be WindowsME.

Re:Itanium flashbacks (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301906)

I was a contractor when they were working on this "next gen" 64bit CPU everybody was excited, then later when I read about it, I couldn't understand where this new architecture would fit. Then X86/64 came out and there really seemed to be no place for it.

IMHO, don't throw good money after bad.

Huhh, what's next rebirth of MIPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300652)

I didn't know that Intel still made Itanium's! Have to wonder if the old SGI MIPS chips will end up staging a comeback!

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301700)

...the Ford motor company announces the new 2012 Edsel.

Re:Huhh, what's next rebirth of MIPS? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302450)

SGI isn't making MIPS chips, but a lot of other companies are. As I said in another post, I sometimes work with a company that produces compilers for HPC, and they are seeing a lot more demand for MIPS than for Itanium. A lot of interesting processors are using the MIPS instruction set. It's cheap to license, so companies wanting to do things like put 64 cores on a chip just license MIPS. There's also the Chinese version, which is starting to look quite respectable - especially in price/performance metrics.

Whytanium? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300660)

Seeing as how Itanium has already failed at its core objective, why is Intel continuing to push it?
Is it just a guilty conscience over coercing HP into dumping Alpha?

Re:Whytanium? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300886)

I was a little surpirsed to learn it was still being produced. I thought it had quietly been discontinued. I don't personally know anyone who operates an Itanium based server.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

pantherace (165052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301064)

It's the only place people can get VMS, or HP's UNIX.

Which is a shame, because VMS has some interesting and nice features, so even if it weren't used wholesale, more exposure could lead to other OSes implementing them.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

Erich (151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301188)

Are there more people on Itanium VMS than Alpha yet? I hadn't heard that was the case...

Re:Whytanium? (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302316)

I'd doubt there are more people on Itanium VMS than on VAX. LOL

Re:Whytanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302836)

the military's legacy healthcare system CHCS is transitioning from Alpha to Itanium. I quit that gig but it would have been nice to see the old washing machines go away (Compac GS140's)

Re:Whytanium? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301290)

It's the only place people can get VMS, or HP's UNIX.

Wow ... I'm shocked that VMS still exists. I haven't heard anybody mention that in a long time.

Which is a shame, because VMS has some interesting and nice features

Like what? It's been so long since I've seen it, I've long since forgotten almost everything about it. I'm surprised there's cool OS features that everyone else hasn't stolen -- that is, of course, assuming they're actually useful for anybody.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301990)

Automatic versioning of files, for one thing. That was kinda neat - you could tell the filesystem to keep 'n' versions and could access them explicitly like hello.c;3. The OS would return the last revision if you didn't specify the version.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302236)

Automatic versioning of files, for one thing

Ah, yes. I had forgotten that one ... that came in handy when I was in university.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

ebh (116526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303096)

Ahh, the least-used feature of the CD-ROM file system, (ISO-9660), specifically included for backing up VMS file systems.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302484)

Like what?

Real ACLs? Real clusters, even over TCP/IP WANs? RMS? Not crashing? A filesystem that doesn't corrupt your data, even if you do crash?

Re:Whytanium? (5, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301342)

Itanium is the #2 high-end UNIX server processor, ahead of SPARC but behind POWER. Itanium systems get between $4bn and $5bn and sales, and are growing. It didn't meet the original goal of taking over the world, but I don't know what parallel universe you live in to think it's a failure.

Re:Whytanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302108)

I'm sure this [zdnet.com] and
this [zdnet.com] are clear signs that everything is A-OK with everyone being cheerful and optimistic about the future of the platform.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302192)

The fact that there was any meaningful Linux/Windows support was a vestige of the time when Intel saw a future where Itanium would replace commodity processors at the low end. Neither SPARC nor POWER has Windows support, and SPARC doesn't have any Linux support from a major distribution either. This is because Nobody Cares about Linux for enterprise platforms, except for consolidating x86 workloads... and IBM is the only company aggressively going after that market anyway. The vast majority of high-end enterprise servers run UNIX or proprietary operating systems.

Just because you run Linux in your basement doesn't mean it dominates high-end servers.

Re:Whytanium? (1)

SharpNose (132636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303290)

{ shocked }Looks up from his Sun Sunfire V240 w/ UltraSPARC that runs fully modern Gentoo Linux perfectly well...{ /shocked }

Re:Whytanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302162)

UNIX? You mean that quirky little time-sharing system for minicomputers?

Re:Whytanium? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301388)

Believe it or not, the rate of sales for Itanium chips increases every year. It just increases very very very very slowly. $5 billion/year in revenue may be peanuts for Intel, but it's still better than $0 billion. Itanium's Intel's best chance to compete head-on with POWER, though it's been losing pretty handily :P

Just one thing... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300676)

Is it more resistant to icebergs than the previous itanics?

Re:Just one thing... (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300830)

Is it more resistant to icebergs than the previous itanics?

This one melts right through them.

His name was John Garlick Llewellyn Poulson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300684)

A British architect and Freemason who caused a major political scandal when his use of bribery and connections to senior politicians were disclosed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Poulson).

Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35300732)

Instead of everytime a new one comes along a new motherboard is required. Rather kicks any CPU upgrading possibilities into the long grass.

Re:Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35301318)

Who knew that allowing a company to make both chipsets and processors would allow them to have such abuse of monopoly position as to force people to upgrade chipsets with every cpu upgrade?

Remind me again why Intel has 3 sockets for the same memory platform?

Re:Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302118)

I became a big AMD customer when they had their socket-A CPUs. The form factor ran a good long while, I was able to upgrade many times. Alas, AMD figured out that, like Intel, it is more profitable for them to force consumers to upgrade entirely, so without long-term socket support, I've migrated back to Intel (Core i7).
I'd like to see a company like "Evergreen", who used to make CPU upgrades, back in the market. It seems to me that a new 686-compatible CPU, with a fitting for a SO-DIMM to replace the L2 cache, and a set of adapter plates to accommodate various previous socket types, should have a decent-sized market. The adapter would emulate the proper ID String to allow the mainboard to boot, the SO-DIMM would keep the OS and software resident on the CPU (so to speak), virtually any old system could be made usable again.
Doesn't really jive with the customer-gouging mindset of modern North American business practice, though, does it. I'm sure there are a squadron of lawyers ready to beat back any entrepreneur wiling to go down that road.

Re:Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302564)

AMD's processors still possess an upgrade path. I have no idea what you're talking about.

AM2->AM2+->AM3

I personally went from Windsor->Agena->Deneb without switching motherboard. Some time later, I upgraded my motherboard and kept my Deneb. I'm now thinking of upgrading my Deneb to a Thuban.

Re:Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35303378)

Interesting, wasn't aware of the AM2 -> AM3 path. After Socket-A, AMD went S939, S940, & S754 (which I bought into), but then when another "all-new" socket (AM2?) came out, I looked elsewhere, never looked back.

Re:Pity Pentiums can't be socket compatible (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303272)

Given the nature of modern CPU bus specifications, your proposal would be so mechanically, electrically and logically complex that it would undoubtedly be cheaper just to buy a whole new computer system.

In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35300926)

Itanium is somehow still relevant enough to warrant a "next generation" of it...

Isn't it strange... (1)

ColonelClaw (744934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301286)

...how Intel can make an all-new architecture socket-compatiable with the previous generation for an enterprise product that no-one's interested in, yet they can't manage this with their consumer products? e.g. Sandy Bridge. It's almost as if they're taking advantage of their market dominance by screwing us all over!

Re:Isn't it strange... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301372)

It's almost as if they're taking advantage of their market dominance by screwing us all over!

Eerie, isn't it?

Re:Isn't it strange... (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301786)

It's almost as if they're taking advantage of their market dominance by screwing us all over!

Eerie, isn't it?

Well, when you've got Superior products, you tend to fuck everyone over.
Though AMD's Ontario got out of the gate before Intel's Huron platform and is in fact, better.
AMD's been successfully focusing on the segment they can compete in for a while now - the auto makers in Michigan could learn a few things from AMD.

Re:Isn't it strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302220)

No, just no

Re:Isn't it strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302714)

auto-industry competition? pfft. No such thing. Why would they want one arm of the company to compete against the other arm, when they are use the same designs for both and make minor differences then sell one for a "normal" profit and the others for a "great" profit?

As an example, a Lexus is just a larger Toyota with more leather, or using my car which has at least 2 other models based on the same frame from companies under GM.

Re:Isn't it strange... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301620)

AFAIK, Sandy Bridge includes a GPU on die. So, of course it's going to need more interconnects.

The market for enthusiast boards is pretty small for intel, especially when you consider the sheer volume of low end crap fests OEMs plop out a year. I don't think they're trying to screw their OEM partners as the cost per-unit is probably pretty small.

I'm just curious how this is any better than integrating the GPU into the chipset.

Re:Isn't it strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302004)

Thanks to advances in the integrated memory platforms that AMD started way back in 2005 and Intel finally started in 2008 there is no proper north bridge any more. The memory is controlled by the CPU, so in a world where memory throughput actually mattered for integrated video you'd have significantly better performance.

Re:Isn't it strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35303190)

Westmere also had a GPU on die.

Re:Isn't it strange... (3, Insightful)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301924)

That's because the high-end server world accepts level of single-core performance the consumer world doesn't. These processors are not something you want on your PC. You want something with better memory management, way faster I/O with ram and GPU, etc. OTOH, you usually don't care about multi-processor.

But faster I/O usually means putting more things on the die (hence amd's integrated memory controllers, now followed by Intel) and having larger busses/more efficient protocols, and acting on that means changing the socket. And the north bridge, if one is left. And the memory, for a faster one. You wouldn't get enough speedup from changing the cpu alone with everything else pin-compatible to make it worth it.

Meanwhile, the itanic spends its time waiting for the ram to answer... but since you put a lot of them in the box, in aggregate they can be useful.

    OG.

What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301436)

That's a funny line you wrote their "sheds the last vestiges of negativity". Microsoft has dumped Itanium since 2008 R2, Redhat has dumped Itanium for RHEL 6, the only things left are niche markets for HP/UX (market share plummeting as you read this, being eaten alive by IBM PPC / Z series), OpenVMS (well hello mid 1980s and early 90s), and NonStop (neat in its day too, but again IBM eating its lunch) The ship Itanic continues to auger into the ocean floor.

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301518)

Oh, please. Unlike Power, which if you look at the sales numbers has had an awful few months, Itanium is doing pretty damn well. $4bn to $5bn with reliable growth (feeding off Oracle's neglect of M-series SPARC) is a good place to be. Additionally, if Poulson came out today, it would probably be the fastest processor in the world (4-6x the raw performance of the Itanium 9300 should put it slightly ahead of Power7).

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302002)

Additionally, if Poulson came out today, it would probably be the fastest processor in the world (4-6x the raw performance of the Itanium 9300 should put it slightly ahead of Power7).

Ok. So you are telling me that today, Power7 is almost 4-6x the raw performance of Itanium 9300? But if we wait until the end of 2012 or early 2013 when Poulson ships, it will be slightly ahead of today's Power7?

Are you trying to help or hurt Itanium with this info?

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302040)

Poulson is likely to ship Q1 of 2012, shortly before IBM's Power7+ refresh is likely. It'll be competitive enough, especially if P7+ is a shitty refresh like P6+ was. (It had slightly improved power characteristics and no performance enhancements.)

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303046)

Why do you think Poulson will ship in Q1 of 2012? I don't remember if any Itaniums have shipped on time, but I definitely remember multiple not shipping on time.

Here's a recent refresher: Tukwilla specs released early 2008 which had an initial ship estimate of Q42008, actual ship Q12010

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35303406)

Actually P7+ is likely to ship before the end of the year (typical IBM cycle is 18 months, and P7 started shipping in February last year).

Given the typical Itanium delays, it would be more or less simultaneous with Power8 (early 2013).

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35302908)

Wow, $5 billion...

... so what's that then, like 20 chips?

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302530)

You really think that VMS hasn't been developed since the 1990s?

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

SharpNose (132636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303166)

I worked with VMS for a total of about seven years, up to 1999. There are things about it that make *ix look positively quaint, starting with the filesystem. I doubt I'll have occasion to work with it again, but someone who chose to make VMS the basis of a modern operation could do a hell of a lot worse.

Re:What MoJoKid, own Intel Stock??? (1)

Dputiger (561114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303088)

Ruby, Not sure what you're referring to here. I'm the original author of the piece. I'm most definitely not MojoKid.

It's socket-compatible with the older Tukwila proc (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301642)

"It's socket-compatible with the older Tukwila processors."

But the desktop market?
My oh my, that's impossible!
See, we've added a single extra pin, and I'm afraid you have no choice but to buy a new motherboard if you want a new CPU, or vice versa.

Marketing at it finest (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35301828)

It may also be the Itanium that fully redeems the brand name and sheds the last vestiges of negativity that have dogged the chip since it launched ten years ago. Poulson incorporates a number of advances in its record-breaking 3.1 Billion transistors. It's socket-compatible with the older Tukwila processors and offers up to eight cores and 54MB of on-die memory.

That is so ridiculous that it is not funny.

Biggest complain about Itanic was always absence of cheap versions, something companies can put on engineer' desks.

Seeing what people do around AMD64 architecture, I doubt Itanic would ever become mainstream - it would remain forever a pet platform of HP's service unit. Similar to IBM's POWER: something sufficiently incompatible so that customers can't migrate overnight to competitor's platform.

Re:Marketing at it finest (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35302228)

It may also be the Itanium that fully redeems the brand name and sheds the last vestiges of negativity that have dogged the chip since it launched ten years ago. Poulson incorporates a number of advances in its record-breaking 3.1 Billion transistors. It's socket-compatible with the older Tukwila processors and offers up to eight cores and 54MB of on-die memory.

That is so ridiculous that it is not funny.

Biggest complain about Itanic was always absence of cheap versions, something companies can put on engineer' desks.

Seeing what people do around AMD64 architecture, I doubt Itanic would ever become mainstream - it would remain forever a pet platform of HP's service unit. Similar to IBM's POWER: something sufficiently incompatible so that customers can't migrate overnight to competitor's platform.

Yes, HPUX is the only major OS for the platform in the West - but (so I've heard from Intel sales and engineering folks) Japan (specifically Fujitsu) buys a lot of these things. So do some major companies in the US - but they also write their own applications/OSes for the platform (ie, they're NOT running HPUX on it).

Re:Marketing at it finest (1)

ebh (116526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303214)

Not surprising that Fujitsu is still in the act, since some of their people were involved (as in on-site at HP's Florham Park lab where I worked) when the original compiler and HP-UX port were being developed. Closing that site and laying us all off didn't speak well for HP's nascent world-changer.

Re:Marketing at it finest (1)

Dputiger (561114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35303152)

ThePhilips, According to Intel, Poulson incorporates redesigned FPU and ALU structures, as well as the 12-issue design (which I admit in the article may not really be a good thing from a code optimization standpoint). It's impossible to currently gauge the compiler improvements Intel may introduce when the chip launches *or* the value of the ALU/FPU pipeline. You seem to have missed my point that Itanium was badly mis-marketed; it's partly seen as a failure precisely because it was pushed as a next-generation solution for all sorts of systems it should never have been positioned to fulfill. If we *start* from the position that Intel would retrench the chip's marketing more neutrally, then I think my statement is quite accurate.
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