Intel's Itanium, once destined to replace x86 in PCs, hits end of line

From InfoWorld: It's the end of the line for Intel's Itanium chip, a troubled processor family that spawned many product delays and bad blood between HP and Oracle.

Intel on Thursday started shipping its latest Itanium 9700 chip, code-named Kittson, in volume. It's the last of the Itanium chips, which first appeared in early 2001.

Beyond Kittson, there will be no more chips coming from the Itanium family, an Intel spokesman said in an email. That ends a tumultuous, 16-year journey for Itanium, which Intel once envisioned as a replacement for x86 chips in 64-bit PCs and servers.

Support for Itanium has dwindled over the past decade, which has led to its gradual death. Server makers stopped offering hardware, software development stalled, and Intel has been openly asking customers to switch to x86-based Xeon chips.

The Itanium 9700 is an incremental upgrade to the previous chips, code-named Poulson, and is targeted at high-end servers running Unix. The only major customer for Itanium remains Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which is upgrading its Integrity i6 high-uptime servers with the new chips. The servers provide rock-solid stability and run on Unix-based HP-UX.

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