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Merced dead, says Sun

They would say that, but they say HP thinks it too. Oh and the UltraSparc III is a bit late

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The question of Intel's Merced's future has again come into focus as a senior executive from Sun Microelectronics described it as a "failure". Harlan McGhan, architecture marketing manager at Sun Microelectronics in California, said: "Everybody's agreed that Merced is already a failure. I'm not expecting very much from Merced and it's a lot more expensive than its x.86 chips." McGhan was reacting to claims revealed here that Sun's UltraSparc III is late. He said: "We continue to expect that it will ship before the end of the year. Merced is two years behind this schedule. We're projecting that it will ship with an initial frequency of 600MHz. If it were shipping right now, it would be the fasted thing out there." He said: "The only thing that could beat it is the Alpha 264 at 750MHz, if it [Compaq] gets it out. By the end of the year, we'll be tying with the Alpha." He said that the UltraSparc III's memory latency made it superior to the Alpha 264. "We'll have a significant advantage on any of the TPC applications. The other area we're very strong in is the Internet." He said even Intel's erstwhile partner Hewlett Packard (HP) has lost faith in Merced and the IA-64 architecture. "MIPS," he said, "has just said there's a lot more headroom in the R6000 architecture. HP is now saying they'll have an 8900 five years from now. What does that tell you about their confidence in the IA-64?" He said that architectures are good for at least 25 years, and often longer. "In 25 years' time I think the x.86 will still be shipping." ® (Apologies to both Harlan and our readers for the earlier typos which I've now corrected. I was in a tearing rush to get the story up on the Web before I travel to Cebit -- MM.)

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