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Intel doles out Itanium prototypes

Inching towards launch

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Intel is doling out the first prototypes of the Itanium 64-bit chip to big system builders, well ahead of next summer's scheduled launch. This should keep the bug-hunters happy.

It will also give plenty of application-recompiling time to software developers that wish to take advantage of the 1A64 platform. Developers do have a choice - the IA64 is backwardly-compatible with x86.

Formerly known as Merced, Itanium is the first member of the IA-64 family. It will run 32-bit applications no faster than, say, a 32-bit Pentium III chip. ®

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