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Letter to the editor: Understanding Itanium

In response to the article by Stephen Shankland, "Intel scraps once-crucial Itanium feature."

In response to the article by Stephen Shankland, Intel scraps once-crucial Itanium feature":

As the co-general manager that developed the software technology for the Itanium processor family, and now as the brand manager for all of Intel's enterprise platforms, I must take exception to your analysis on IA-32 EL.

We put the feature into the initial Itanium silicon because we expected that IT shops would run a large amount of mixed code--meaning some that were executing to the 64-bit Itanium address/compute space and a fair amount that would not be rewritten but would just execute their existing code.

Well, many years, thousands of production deployments and many thousands of ported applications later, we now know why we have the migration to the Itanium processor family. And more than that...the Xeon instruction set has been at 64 bits for almost two years. The net result is that we were better off putting the Itanium transistors to better execute the dual-core product. And, just to brag one small bit, that software that does emulate the Xeon instruction set is pretty darn good.

Will Swope, Intel vice president
and enterprise brand director