Intel delays next Itanium again

Santa Clara (CA) – Remember Itanium? Yup, it is still alive and  we just got word that the next-generation chip, code-named Tukwila, will be released. Just a bit later than we expected to.

Intel told us that Tukwila is now on track to ship to OEMs in the first quarter of 2010, which means that we should expected servers based on the chip closer to mid-2010. Those of us who have been around long enough may remember that the Tukwila chip was first discussed by Intel in  late 2003.

Intel said that the new delay is due to the fact that the fact company “identified an opportunity to further enhance application scalability” during “final system-level testing”. One can only imagine what that means, but it sounds to us that Intel has caught a critical issue with the processor just in time before release.
Intel said that the change will give Tukwila “a greater opportunity to gain share versus proprietary RISC solutions including Sparc and IBM Power.” What confuses us a bit is that despite the application scalability, Intel still claims that Tukwila will be just 2x faster than the predecessor Itanium.
We leave it up to you to interpret what this unexpected message from Intel really means.