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An Aberdeen Group report on Intel's IA-64 strategy is suggesting that future platforms will benefit from microprocessors such as the Itanium, the McKinley, the Madison and Deerfield when they begin to permeate big system boxes. We're from Aberdeen ourselves, so our eyes preternaturally light up when there's the possibility of combining details of the Scottish City with Intel's Itanium platform. Will we discover the Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen in Intel's chunky chip? Has granite a part to play in the strategy? How expensive is housing in the Silver City now that the oil industry has supplanted quarrying and fishing as major industries? Sadly, there isn't much about these topics and the report makes some conclusions that chime, not unsurprisingly, with Chipzilla's plans for IA-64. But, on the other hand, the Aberdeen report hedges its bets on adoption of the Intel technology, and how corporate customers will put all of their existing systems together into one whole. Topics covered include the puissance of 64-bit computing, how the Itanium will work with key software applications, when we can expect to see Itanium systems, and how they compare to other RISCy systems. Finally, there are suggestions as to how large corporations should start to migrate their systems to IA-64. But the talk is not all Intel talk. While the Aberdonians say that IA-64 will become a "volume leader" but that could be as long as seven years after its debut. Nevertheless, ISVs (independent software vendors) are likely to accept IA-64 as the de facto standard and will migrate 32-bit software to these platforms, say the Aberdonians. That conclusion, however, is rather undermined by one bullet point, in which the Aberdeen Group says that the best deployments will be for new applications specifically designed for the Itanium, with apps for other microprocessors being ported to IA-64 later. When will systems be available? Although the report is dated March 2000, there are some strange references to what was happening last June on page 10, suggesting that some parts of this document are not quite as fresh as they could be. Despite some anomalies, the PDF is full of details about IA-64 architecture, including stuff about its famous Rotating Registers, Predication and Speculation. The lengthy Aberdeen report, can be found in PDF form, cough, on this Intel site, which also has references to other IA-64 documents which are of interest, including how IA-64 will be a boon for Java, e-commerce, directory services, and security. Sadly, however, Intel's Philosopher's Stone, the Itanium, is unlikely to be able to do much to revive the Aberdeen fishing industry... There's a reasonable history of Aberdeen here, while you can find the Malt Whisky Trail here. ®

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