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Merced just a development platform for McKinley

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Intel still refuses to comment on the $200 million+ IA-64 initiative it will announce in California when people on the West Coast wake up later today. (See story: Intel in desperate cash bid to rescue Merced) But every indication now is that Intel will build the fund to position McKinley as the premier IA-64 platform, with Merced effectively becoming a development platform for future growth. Willamette IA-32 technology, due out in the middle of next year, could even beat Merced on price and performance. Joe D'Elia, senior semiconductor analyst at Dataquest Europe, said that if Intel was to set up such a fund, it would make sense for the chip company. He said: "If you look at the IA-64, it has slipped relative to their orginal time scales. Everything else has caught up with it. "The important thing for Intel is that they've got to get it out there so there's software development going on," he said. He said: "Merced is a performance concept and a development tool, rather than something deployed in anger. If you look at silicon technology, the deployment has speeded up and if we look at future IA-32 devices in the middle of next year, they could even offer higher performance [than Merced]." D'Elia said that Compaq could afford to support an IA-64 initiative because of the leverage it had with the Alpha platform. Hewlett Packard, however, had been entirely consistent, saying that it would support McKinley. McKinley incorporates HP's EPIC technology. ®

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