What were the new parts?
I hate to whine, but what in this article was really new information (from the reference manual)? It looks almost like the article was cut in short, and the part that was supposed to come after the refresher is missing.
The webmeisters of the world have given once again, with Intel accidentally outing some of the feeds and speeds of the impending "Poulson" Itanium processors for midrange and high-end servers. Some of the data has already been taken down, and all of it will probably follow shortly. An intrepid reader of El Reg pointed out to …
It is dead, as a long-term platform - if memory serves me correct, we knew about Poulson on the roadmap, so from the Oracle story there's nothing new here, but it was beyond that (or maybe the next iteration again) which Intel aren't willing to publicly confirm.
If you weren't aware, processor manufacturers generally have roadmaps stretching out several generations, a) because it simply takes that long to develop, and b) particularly for corporate system builders, to give confidence in a platform's long-term viability.
"....but it was beyond that ...." Nope, Kittson is on the roadmap.
"......If you weren't aware, processor manufacturers generally have roadmaps stretching out several generations...." Really? So that must mean IBM's Power is toast seeing as their public roadmap stops at P7+, P8 is just a placeholder with no details, and there is no P9! Hope no-one tells Larry!
Roadmaps are marketing material. The more doubt there is around a product, the more roadmap information will be released to reassure people. When people know a product is stable and will be released, there is no need to push elaborate roadmaps to analyst groups to reassure people. It is also IBM's style. As with PureSystems, they don't talk about things until they have something substantive to talk about.
Well to be fair, we didn't get confirmation from IBM about anything beyond POWER8 until TPM's POWER7+ article just a few days ago, and even then I believe it was a leaked internal roadmap without any public announcement in tow. However, there are of course other reasons (most of all the internal documents from HP, which were released by Oracle) to have serious doubts about the future of Itanium, and more trust in the long-term commitment of IBM to the RISC/UNIX market.
I don't think that Intel have published any road maps for Xeon CPUs that extend any further than the Itanium's one. Intel have said that after Poulson there will be Kittson. Their Xeon roadmap doesn't go any further than this.
The difference is that everybody expects there to be new Xeons, so not publishing a longer roadmap isn't seen as a problem, like there is no road map telling the sun will come up tomorrow morning. You just assume it will and are happy to live your life on this basis.
They have published roadmaps for the x86 line extending all the way through 2016, with Skymont as a die shrink of the Skylake microarchitecture (though they have not explicitly stated that they will go into Xeon processors, but following the current release schedule that means we will have Skymont-EP in 2017 and Skymont-EX in 2018). You have a point all the same however, and that is also the reason why IBM does not have to go into great detail about upcoming POWER processors whereas Oracle has to provide a clear and long roadmap for SPARC.
Here's a link to the latest x86 server roadmap by the way (although its authenticity is unclear): http://www.sweclockers.com/image/red/2011/07/27/1.png?t=paneBanner&k=0c324984
"....that is also the reason why IBM does not have to go into great detail about upcoming POWER processors...." IBM like to hide the roadmap because it has slipped and stalled so often on Power CPUs, no other reason. The Power6+, where did that go? Oh, it just sneaked out as a speedbump to Power6. Power7 was also late as it needed a complete redesign form the in-order Power6. Power8? Well, my guess is that is exactly what the new Power7+ is, just the unimpressive Power8 being released "early", just like Power6+.
"And onward waddles the dodo, on its quest to the edge of the volcano, into the oblivion of which it will inevitably go."
(On a more serious note, I have no idea what will replace Itanic when it finally sinks, especially considering the good technologies that died so that it could hatch. I hope to $DEITY that someone has a plan, as long as it isn't Intel.)
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