ISSCC Poulson Preview Online

Article: New Itanium Microarchitecture at ISSCC 2011
By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), November 17, 2010 11:30 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Richard Cownie (tich@pobox.com) on 11/17/10 wrote:
---------------------------
>someone (someone@somewhere.com) on 11/17/10 wrote:
>---------------------------
>
>>The McKinley core was a perfectly sane design for its
>>era - large die 180 nm single core FSB based MPU.
>
>Am I hallucinating, or wasn't the first IPF core called
>Merced ? Has that one been airbrushed out of history ?

When talking "sane designs", Merced isn't really in the
picture. I've talked to some people who were involved in
it, and they were totally disgusted with it. It was also
buggy and basically unusable (not to mention late, slow,
and generally disappointing, but that's been true of every
single Itanium iteration, so Merced doesn't stand out in
that respect).

McKinley fixed a lot of it. Of course, it just means
another year or two late, so I claim that it definitely
wasn't sane for its era any more. Had McKinley come out
three or four years earlier (ie "Merced without the bugs
and misdesigns and delays"), it would have been more than
"sane for its era".

As it was, I wouldn't say McKinley was "sane for its era".
Only when compared to the disaster that was Merced did it
look good. By the time it shipped, sane people had pretty
much already figured out that it was the wrong thing.

So McKinley was a huge step forward. No question. But only
because of the relative merits.

Linus
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