Evaluating Itanium

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2004-10-25 Print this article Print

Are your target dates for the dual-core processors holding up? We havent been very specific about them. We said dual core in all aspects of the business—desktop, laptop and server—will be ramping up by 2005-2006. But we really havent been more specific than that.

Hewlett-Packard Co. canceled the Itanium workstation. Your thoughts?

Itanium has turned out to be a very viable competitor in a section of the market: the enterprise server—big iron. It competes with SPARC, it competes with [IBMs] Power. Its replacing [HPs] Precision Architecture and Alpha. It is a big-iron machine.
Its pretty clear that 32-bit architectures have moved up, but I dont think anyone looks at the 64-bit address extensions as making those 32-bit devices as viable enterprise servers from the big-iron standpoint. But some applications—the front-end apps, Web servers, HPC [high-performance computing] stuff—those address extensions make sense when youre addressing huge memory spaces.

To read about HPs cancellation of its Itanium workstations, click here. How fast do you see the growth of the market for the EM64T?

In a couple of years it will be a checkoff item. Whether anybody uses it for anything is an entirely different question. There are over 100 million desktops sold each year. In a year or two, it will be a standard checkoff item in desktops—as soon as Microsoft [Corp.] has an operating system that can take advantage of it, and everybody has compatibility to take advantage of it. Will you put that much memory in your desktop to take advantage of it? Will the drivers and apps be written to take advantage of it?

What do you think?

Thats a hell of a lot of memory to take advantage of. I think it will be pervasive, but so what? There are few applications that take advantage of that much memory. Itll be used there.

Wireless technology is pretty exciting, particularly in fixed wireless broadband, as you said in your remarks here at the conference, but how big a revenue opportunity is that for Intel?

It depends on how pervasive it is. If in fact the vision that we have that all laptops have a collection of protocols integrated in them—Wi-Fi, WiMax and 3G—then [wed be] selling one of those [chip sets] per [machine]. Do you integrate them all in one device? If I have a device on the side of my house, in WiMax, but Wi-Fi in the home, then you have a wireless connectivity capability in each PC. We make those chips. Is that as big a business as the [server] processor business? Hell, no. Its much smaller, but its a growth opportunity.

Do you see that WiMax box replacing the DSL line?

As long as youre not relatively close to a central office, theres a good chance of that happening.

Next Page: A "wake-up call" on performance.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on Zcast.tv. He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel