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The Itanium Processor Family

The Itanium architecture was designed to be the new industry standard in high performance processor architecture for the next twenty years. The Itanium processor captures the best-in-class application performance for technical and enterprise computing out of the box today. However, given the continued development of chips and compilers for this unique architecture, its long-term future is also bright.

The Itanium processor starts out with a strong price/performance ratio and is designed to take advantage of scalability gains. This is assisted by broad industry support led by both HP and Intel, who created the initial microprocessor architecture from an alliance of their best R&D resources. This new instruction set architecture, based on HP/Intel co-developer knowledge, has enabled the creation of a strong microprocessor 'roadmap' as indicated in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1 Figure 1-1 The Itanium Processor Family Roadmap

How Will I Benefit if I Run a RISC-Based System?

Enterprises that run RISC-based systems gain an immediate benefit from the switch to an Itanium®-based platform. The lower hardware costs and multi-vendor OS strengths of the new industry-standard architecture, Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC), provide for the following benefits:

  • Multi-OS support

  • Lower overall Cost of Ownership for enterprise IT

  • Assurance of leading performance and scalability over the long-term

How Will I Benefit if I Run an IA-32 Based System?

IA-32 based system users will see immediate performance gains when taking on more complex workloads and processing large amounts of data. Areas that are less sensitive to performance can transition to the new architecture on an as-needed basis. Organizations that move to an Itanium-based platform can address current performance issues points today and gain familiarity with architecture that will be able to keep up with scalable demands in the near and intermediate future. These demands include:

  • Greater memory addressability

  • More complex applications and computing environments

  • Secure web server transactions

  • Computer aided design such as Mechanical Analysis

  • Very large memory databases

  • Industry-standard servers in every tier of the data center

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