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PC OEMs can rejoice at McKinley ‘delay’

Reg debunks latest Itanic rumours

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McKinley, the second IA-64 processor due next year may have been delayed again, suggests chip analyst Linley Gwenapp. He doesn't offer anything to back up his speculation, but the EE Times reports that Intel has pulled a McKinley technical paper it was scheduled to give to a semiconductor conference that starts in San Francisco today.

Indeed, the IEEE website confirms this. The paper was due to give full disclosure on Itanic II. But we wouldn't jump to the same conclusion as Gwenapp - or at least, not in such haste. The prime sponsor of Itanic: The Next Voyage is Hewlett-Packard, and it decided some time ago that it wouldn't waste its time on the first iteration of Itanic, Merced. As we reported here, in August 1999.

This makes good sense as HP, which makes much of its promise to upgrade HP servers in place, wouldn't want to ask its regular customers to dig deep twice within a year for two incompatible boxes.

While Intel is still finding Itanic a hard sell within HP, it can't afford to back away from Merced, even if world+dog knows that it's really only a test bed for Itanic II.

Chipzilla's big iron partners run long product life cycles, and have plenty of puff left their own Risc lines. A few months delay won't cause too many crinkles there.

But a delay to McKinley means Intel's traditional PC partners (these two overlap of course as you know) will be given a few more months in which to sell Itanic I systems. And these days PC OEMs are desperate to sell anything.

For a selection of Itanic stories click here, and scroll down to the bottom. You'll find some of the information Intel was going to reveal today about 18 months ago. Happy hunting. ®

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