HP tackles Yamhill questions

Real, but not a real threat. Honest.

IDF Yamhill is one of many projects intended to give life to x86, HP's Jim Carlson tells us, but it leaves breathing room for Itanium.

Yamhill is Intel's skunkworks effort to add 64bit instructions to the x86 line. Jim is product marketing chief for IA-64 at HP, and IA-64 is Intel's multi-billion dollar, long-term successor to x86. But Jim didn't flinch from tackling our Yamhill questions head on.

"Yamhill is where Intel is working on the IA-32 line; they expect to have good returns for 8-10 years; they have 6 or 7 projects to give the IA-32 line a long life."

"They may do Yamhill if AMD becomes a threat to them - they're very paranoid," he says.

But Xeons are already giving low-end RISC a good run for its money, and the SMT Xeons turn up the heat considerably.

Jim agrees. " IA32 will provide a phenomenal value proposition - for a decade - but the high end is where Intel is trying to get into, that's the focus, and a Yamhill extension doesn't provide that the reliability and scaling that IA-64 offers. That's built into IA-64. IPF is already 64 bits; you can plug-it in down the road; the 64bitness is already there."

"If you're trying to get in on the front-end of a process, then you're investment is diminishing returns."

Jim was speaking to us about the new McKinley zx1 chipset, which we cover here and which recommend you read, because it does suggest HP is going to price the McKinleys aggressively. And for the confirmation that if the IA-64 business takes off, it isn't going to be a box-shifting economy. Or at least not without a fight without the good folks at HP. ®