Intel Itanium outsells AMD Opteron

Intel kicked off its Itanium presentation today by saying the Itanium’s system revenue since the introduction of 2001 has crossed the $5 billion mark. That outsells total sales of AMD’s Opterons.

And, according to IDC Itanium sales surpassed all of SPARC sales for the first time since the introduction of the Itanium. That was in 2001 and was the culmination of former CEO Andy Grove’s dreams of a microprocessor that was truly mission critical.

Never before has Intel put two billion transistors onto a transistor. The presenter said that if I started clicking on his foils and there were two billion of them, it would take 62 years,

Intel put six microprocessors into the last platform. But corporate customers  demand investment protection. This will be the first time Intel will be able to connect eight microprocessors “gluelessly” and without “forklifting” and they can be interconnected seamlessly like 64 socket systems that will be available from HP.

Intel is moving to the Quick Path interconnect that delivers a 9X performance increase. Intel is moving to DDR3 so systems last for seven years or more.

The Itanium 9300 systems will launch in the next 90 days. The way Intel has designed the transistors is 100X stronger than the previous generation. They’re resistant to  cosmic rays.

Intel has double device data protection for the first time. The Quick Path Interconnect allows for “self healing” with half bandwidth QPI. You can hotplug practically everything delivering a virtual reliability environment.

Intel will put its second generation of virtualisation into the processor. In the chipset we have Intel Virtualization for Virtual IO to deliver a better quality of service.

Intel is promising a common platform between Xeon – the Nehalem EX and the Itanium 9300. When both are using Quick Path they can build different versions of their Notecontroller technologies. Intel is using the same memory buffers and the identical chipset – the 7500 – between the Xeon and the Itanium. Intel’s been promising it for years. It promised it at a previous IDF in Palm Springs. That’s a long time ago.

The Itanium has “incredible economics” brought to the Itanium platform. This is mission critical computing for the next generation, says Intel.

Poulson is Intel’s next generation microprocessor with “hundreds and hundreds of engineers” working on it. Poulson will be binary compatible with today’s Tukwila.

Intel has six OEMs –  Inspur, HP, NEC, Hitachi, Supermicro and Groupe Bull, in France.