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Itanium article from 1994

Yousuf Khan
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      10-03-2004, 05:08 PM
Article from Computing Canada from the dawn of the collaboration between HP
and Intel on what would eventually become the Itanium. Again interesting for
historical perspective about what their original plans were vs. what
actually happened. Original plans were to finish the architecture within 4
years (1998). Speculation about the future demise of x86, and various RISC
architectures. Familiar talking head, Linley Gwennap, putting in his two
cents. How will AMD and/or Cyrix push x86 without Intel? Etc.

Yousuf Khan

New HP-Intel pact could hit PC clones hard
Computing Canada, July 6, 1994 by Paul Barker
The signing of a technology agreement between Intel Corp. and
Hewlett-Packard Co. will drastically alter the PC computing landscape and
destroy the x86 processor clone market, a Silicon Valley analyst says.

The two companies recently announced that they would jointly develop a new
64-bit architecture designed to compete with the Sparc chip from Sun
Microsystems Corp., Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha and the PowerPC.

Linley Gwennap, editor of the Micro-processor Report, a monthly newsletter
in Sebatopol, Calif., described it as a good arrangement for both companies,
especially HP which "has been struggling" with its own RISC (reduced
instruction set computing) architecture.

"The biggest point of this announcement is the fact that Intel is signalling
that the x86 architecture they've been using for so long is running out of
steam," said Gwennap. "This is the first time they've admitted that in

Intel, he said, has dominated the PC market but has traditionally been weak
when it comes to workstations and servers.

Both companies, he added, are coming out and saying that RISC is not going
to last much beyond the end of the decade.

The planned architecture will maintain binary compatibility with both
company's software bases.

According to Gwennap, the agreement "hammers home the point" that it's going
to take a lot of financial backing to establish a new architecture.

"You have Intel and HP on one hand and IBM, Apple and Motorola on the
other," he said. "Even Sun and Digital look kind of paltry in comparison to
these massive conglomerates of companies."

Political fallout

But the key political fallout will take place in the clone market, said

The Intel-HP tandem, he said, is going to make it very difficult for other
companies to build processors that are compatible with the new are
architecture "What do companies like AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) and Cyrix
do? It's going to be tough for them to push the x86 architecture without
Intel's backing."

Gwennap said it's possible a third alliance could surface, one involving
Compaq Computer Corp. and AMD.

Intel spokesman Howard High said the intent of the technology agreement is
to have a single architecture that will replace all others from either

"It's a very competitive marketplace," he said. "We like to think that Intel
keeps enough things happening on the table to keep all of our competitors

High estimated it will take up to four years to develop the new

Humans: contact me at ykhan at rogers dot com
Spambots: just reply to this email address ;-)

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