Intel wishes it could rewrite Itanium history

Despite its history of no-holds-barred marketing, Intel has become more candid about the difficulties the company has had with its Itanium processor, which was hobbled by delays, poor initial performance and software incompatibility with the company's mainstream x86 chips such as Xeon. Now Pat Gelsinger, the company's former chief technology officer and now head of its digital enterprise group, engaged in a little wishful thinking about what might have been in the company's approach to the high-end server market.

"If we could unwind the clock, I would have just built a RAS version of Xeon to attack the market," Gelsinger said in an IInformationWeek interview. RAS means reliability, availability and servicability, and refers to features that let chips and servers nip errors in the bud.

Gelsinger also said in the interview that Intel is working on making Itanium a productive member of the company's overall business. "We're working pretty hard to get it to a profitable product," he said.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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