Oracle spikes Itanium, Intel denies death

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Oracle spikes Itanium, Intel denies death

Intel boss Paul Otellini on Wednesday said the chip maker is pressing ahead with its Itanium server microprocessor, despite an earlier claim by Oracle that the chip was “nearing the end of its life.” 

On Tuesday Oracle joined Microsoft and Red Hat as the latest to discontinue developing software for Intel’s Itanium processor, leaving only HP and its Unix HP-UX servers in question.  

Oracle claimed Intel’s “management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life.” 

It went on to point out that HP’s CEO Leo Apotheker “made no mention of Itanium in his long and detailed presentation on the future strategic direction of HP.”

Addressing Apotheker’s noted omission, Otellini pointed to Intel’s Itanium roadmap for the HP-UX implementation of Itanium, Poulson and Kitsson, which would supersede its existing Tukwila line. 

“We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture,” said Otellini.  

Microsoft ditched Itanium at the April 2010 launch of Windows Server 2008 R2, citing advances in 64 bit x86 processors.

Oracle points out in its Itanium support page that it will continue to support Itanium-based servers, Intel’s 64 bit x86 and, of course, Oracle SPARC x86 architectures.

The server world has changed significantly since 2006, US CNet blogger Stephen Shankland noted. At the time Oracle boss Larry Ellison said HP and Itanium were Oracle’s most important platform.  

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