Feeds

HP sends Itanic boat people to Intel

Marketing dollars over manpower

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

HP once celebrated the unique contributions it could make to the Itanium processor architecture. Such days will soon be over with HP trading its Itanium design team to Intel, sources tell us.

The companies are expected to announce tomorrow that "hundreds" of HP's Itanium engineers located in Colorado will become Intel chattel. This will leave Intel as the sole caretaker of the chip it co-invented with HP. In addition, HP is expected to announce that it will put even more money behind Itanic. In a face saving gesture, the company will pledge to back up the struggling chip with billions in investments - an interesting move given that HP just cancelled its line of Itanium workstations.

HP has long enjoyed the top position in the Itanium ecosystem. As co-designer of the processor, it gained insight into the chip's direction unavailable to other OEMs. In fact, the story goes that Intel and HP traded off work on each generation of the chip. Intel blundered Merced - the first version - and HP came to the rescue with McKinley - the second Itanium chip.

Most of the work being done on future Itanium designs is currently being handled by former DEC Alpha processor engineers now working for Intel. HP traded these engineers to Intel when it purchased Compaq. It seems Intel will now take on all the rest of HP's chip experts as well.

This move has to be seen as yet another cost-cutting exercise by HP. The company has sent numerous server staffers packing since it acquired Compaq. HP also halted its work on PA-RISC and Alpha (thanks to Compaq), deciding on Itanium for its high-end servers. Most recently, HP gave up on spending money to develop its Tru64 Unix software, picking up Veritas' code instead.

What's most interesting about HP's engineer offload is the timing of the move.

Intel's CEO-to-be Paul Otellini recently said Itanium has no place in workstations or low-end servers. This comment, according to an HP insider, came as quite the shock at HP where low-end Itanium shipments are key. In HP's fourth quarter, a whopping 88 percent of Integrity server sales were low end systems with 10 percent in the midrange and just 2 percent on high-end systems, according to internal figures obtained by The Register.

In addition, other HP insiders have noted that Intel has always kept the cost of Itanium chips too high to really get much widespread market penetration. So why not make Intel deal with the struggling beast on its own?

We expect to bring you more details on the arrangement tomorrow, when it's officially announced. ®

Related stories

Dell turns on too pricey Red Hat
HP must open source Tru64 goodies - users
Itanium inventor bobs to surface as chip's savior?
Dell eclipses Sun in server sales
How MS will end the Dell - Intel love-in

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?