Alliance Pledges Billions to Promote Itanium

A band of computer industry brand names has pledged to put up $10 billion in an effort to further the adoption of Intel's Itanium server chip.

Itanium supporters have pledged to put up $10 billion in an effort to make the server chip tops for mission critical servers.

The funding will come from the collective backing of Bull, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Hitachi, HP, Intel, NEC, SGI and Unisys, all members of the Itanium Solutions Alliance, a consortium of companies backing the chip, the companies said in a statement.

The companies will put up the money—which represents the total they expect to spend individually as well as together on alliance activities in the coming years—in an effort to help the Itanium chip top the so-called mission critical computing market.

The companies aim is to see Itanium atop the market, which includes servers responsible for running databases, enterprise resource planning software and customer relationship management software, by the end of this decade, they said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about an Itanium update on the way.

The Itanium Solutions Alliance, which was established last September, has a stated goal of expanding the deployment of Itanium servers and fostering software development for those machines.

The $10 billion pledge came at the alliances first Executive League meeting in San Francisco on Jan. 26.

The get-together was designed to allow Itanium executives to strategize on plans to deliver their machines to customers, the alliance said in a statement.

Intel and Hewlett-Packard, which co-developed the Itanium chip processor, have themselves already invested billions and collaborated with hardware makers and software companies for years on Itanium.

The Itanium Solutions Alliance, however, formalized that effort and brought on the support of numerous other companies, both in hardware and software.

The alliance now states that around 6,000 applications have been created for Itanium systems.

However, in addition to promoting Itanium hardware, one of its goals has been to continue increasing the number of applications for the platform.

Thus the group hosts a network of centers where software developers can go to get help in writing applications as well activities such as developer days.

Earlier this month, the group released its Itanium Solutions Catalog, which it says is the first comprehensive, public listing of currently-available applications for Itanium machines.

Still, even with their collective investment, the alliance companies will have their work cut out for them.

IBM, for one, continues to push its Power processor-based servers, which compete with Itanium systems.

Meanwhile, Sun Microsystems has recently refreshed its servers with a new UltraSPARC T1 processor.

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