Itanic: you've seen the movie, now buy the book

Boiler Room Potboiler

Another week, another Itanium launch: only this time it's the book of the project. "Itanium Rising" is authored by HP's Jim Carlson and chip designer Jerry Huck, HP's lead architect for IA-64.

The 300 page book - that's thirty for every year of the project's life to date - has the obligatory long and hyperbolic subtitle (eg, Ring of Fire: How DonutsToGo Inc.reinvented the American dessert and created a Billion Dollar Pastry Industry). In this case it's "Itanic Rising: Breaking Through Moore's Second Law of Computing Power ".

But hold on. Moore's First Law posits that the transistor density doubles every 18 months. His Second Law is that manufacturing costs increase on a semi-logarithmic scale, or double every generation, depending on who you believe.

It's "One we don't want to follow!" noted the Intel Technology Journal in a 1998 article [here, 7 subsequent pages] which you can glimpse briefly before being moved along by an http redirect. (Funny, that).

Nevertheless, the blurb promises that the tome might be more substantial than those formula potboilers that WSJ reporters write on their sabbaticals. And the ten-year Itanic project has quite enough drama of its own, without resorting to cliché.

("It was decision day for DonutsToGo. The latest batter mixing equipment had failed the alkaline tests; a Columbian civil war had sent the price of sugar skyrocketing; and early focus groups had been damning, describing it as the SUV of snacks. In his fourteenth floor office, CEO Mahoney knew the company he'd started in his kitchen was sinking. It needed a lifebelt. A lifebelt … that's it! "We'll put a hole in the dough!" cried Mahoney…" [that's enough boardroom potboiler - ed.])

We, ah … can't say for sure, because we haven't received our review copy yet. For the curious, publisher Prentice Hall's blurb is here. Jerry worked a miracle with our Berkeley unbeliever, so it may work for you, too. ®