Itanium - slowest and most obsolete server CPU family in the world, NOW.

Article: Tukwila Update
By: someone else (, February 24, 2009 4:37 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Paul ( on 2/7/09 wrote:
>This leaves Itanium competing in market for moderately NUMA big single system image
>machines where it competes against IBM z series machines and Fujitsu/Sun M series
>machines. It can compete in this market because people who buy such machines aren't
>doing so solely on performance metrics. If they did Sun would have been out of business years ago.

Hallelujah! Someone finally got it right!

Not every application out there can be made distributed or fault tolerant, so big single systems that can tolerate faults and avoid disruptive outages will continue to be important... for years to come.

Think HP Nonstop, and consider the fact that HP will have to retire the proprietary Nonstop OS at some point. Hmmm, I wonder what they would replace it with? :-)

Either way, many people seem to forget that the CPU alone does not sell servers. The capabilities of the architecture sell servers. It doesn't matter if Itanium is the fastest chip out there or not. It just has to be close enough to the leader, so that price/performance ratio makes sense.

A couple of things to note:

If you doubt Tukwila performance, just wait. Intel has some tricks up its sleeve, but my NDA does not allow me to talk about them. Suffice it to say that Tukwila will beat Power6 in many benchmarks... probably not all. For most workloads it will leapfrog the Power6 performance, and it will not be the CPU alone that's responsible for the performance gains!

Then in 2011 Power7 will leapfrog Tukwila, and then in 2012 Poulson will leapfrog Power7, and so on... Until somehow one pulls ahead for good, maybe 6 or 7 years from now.

If you follow CPU designs, and you look at Tukwila, you might notice the low amount of L3 cache - it's only 6 MB per core, for a total of 24 MB L3. That's awfully low for a high performance chip. Hmmm... I wonder what they have cooking there. :-)

Btw, there will be no return of Out of order execution. Economic factors have made it difficult to build large chips.

P.S. Interesting thread. Never knew Linus felt so strongly about Itanium architecture. Then again, I remember reading his flames about Gnome...
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                                Please try to keep up (NT)anon2009/02/25 09:49 PM
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                                    sufficiently intimate with the OSMichael S2009/02/26 06:29 AM
                                      sufficiently intimate with the OSanon2009/02/27 01:01 AM
                                      sufficiently intimate with the OSHoward Chu2009/02/27 01:37 AM
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  Tukwila Update - article onlineVincent Diepeveen2009/02/05 09:11 AM
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