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IT-Director: Intel and 64 bit architectures

Aug 25, 1999, 19:14 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Unicorn)

"There's a lot of fuss about whether or not computer manufacturers are taking Intel's 64-bit Merced chip seriously. Especially involving Hewlett-Packard, the co-developers of Intel's 64-bit architecture... Claims have been made that the real 64-bit chip will be McKinley, the successor to Merced."

"The popular Windows graphics market will be constrained to 32 bits by software for some time to come. ...Intel themselves are very clear that their 32 bit processors will outperform their 64 bit processors for several years yet (in applications that don't explicitly require 64 bit). ... With Microsoft dragging its feet over a 64-bit version of Windows, and especially tardy over moving the "consumer" version of Windows away from its DOS roots, there is no immediate prospect of a mass market for IA-64."

"...whatever Intel or HP says in public, there is no doubt that Merced is little more than a prototype. It will be used to build machines that developers use to test out software for IA-64. The cooperation between HP and Intel had not properly kicked in for the Merced development. The indications are that initially Intel failed to fully value the contribution available from HP engineers, who already had experience of chip design for high-end servers. McKinley enjoyed the combined skills of both companies, and is likely to be a far more usable processor. So for trial runs, Merced will be useful. For serious processing, McKinley and subsequent releases are the ones to watch."

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