Not Dead Yet

The Inquirer has this little tidbit.

* A LITTLE BIRD chirrups that Montvale could be Intel’s codename for the merger of IA-64 and its not-yet-released iAMD64 processors. Sheesh kebab!

Read the article. Intel’s goals are pretty much laid out there. They expect to get Itaniums to deliver twice the performance of Xeons. They expect to get the price down to the price of Xeons. And, finally, they expect to get all this good stuff done around 2007.

Given what it likely to occur in process technology, this sounds about right. Itanium ended up too big for today’s mainstream. By 2007, that won’t be the case.

In the meantime, Itanium will wait for the rest of the world to catch up with it at the high-end.

Does this sound like a dead chip to you?

There’s more than a few out there who are so anxious to pee on an Intel tombstone that they haven’t even waited for the corpse to show up. Problem is, not only is the “corpse” not dead; it’s getting better.

Not only is this fight not over; it hasn’t even started yet, and won’t for years to come. When you look at the server market; it’s not Opteron vs. Itanium any more than it is VW vs. Mercedes.

No, for the next couple years, it’s Opteron vs. Xeon, and that’s not even going to be the main event in the IT corporate halls. It’s really AMD the Product vs. AMD the Company, and the Company knows it. Why else would they talk about a “server-first” approach so much?

Over the next couple years, Opterons are likely to do well, perhaps very well. They aren’t doing it yet; the mouth hasn’t quite turned into serious money.

In the meantime, waiting in the wings getting ready for mainstream primetime will be Itanium. Maybe it will flop eventually, maybe it won’t.

But when you see folks declare victory before AMD even sells a seriously appreciable number of Opterons, much less a number that’s even a sizable fraction of Xeon sales, recognize such talk for what it is: propaganda from the big-time biased.

And until or the sales figures catch up with the sales pitch, claims of victory should be believed about as much as those made by pro wrestlers before a match.


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