Published in PC Hardware

Itanium servers sing swan-song

by on15 February 2017

New chip out soon which might be the last

HPE has announced that it will ship the high-end Itanium servers in the second half of the year, and the chip will be supported by HP-UX and OpenVMS.

However Kittson could very well be the last upgrade we see on this potentially doomed chip.

For the last three years, we have been predicting that Itanium has had it, but it has managed to hang on. The chip is now shipping to test customers, and volume shipments will commence later this year.

Support for the chip has been dwindling, software development has stalled and really we can’t understand how anyone can want to install it.

Even Intel may be happy to see die and has been openly lobbying customers to switch from Itanium to x86-based Xeon chips.

Intel developed Itanium in conjunction HP, and the first chip was released in 2001. The goal of the superfast chip was to replace older mainframe architectures like SPARC and to compete with IBM’s Power.

Itanium chips couldn’t outrun SPARC or Power even when it was given a head start.

Its biggest rival was Intel’s Xeon, which gained mass adoption in fast-growing low-end and mid-range server markets.

Oracle decided to stop writing software for the architecture in 2011, after it determined the chip “was nearing the end of its life.” Microsoft also pulled the plug on Itanium software development.

Intel will not even give anyone a roadmap for Kittson. The new chip succeeds the older Itanium 9500 series code-named Poulson, which started shipping in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The only vendor who seems to like it is HPE, which puts the chip in mission-critical Integrity servers. It has promised customers that it is committed to supporting Itanium until 2025, but even it is trying to convince punters to switch over to Xeon.

Last modified on 15 February 2017
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: