Microsoft Calls it Quits on Intel Itanium Support

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Print this article Print

As Intel and AMD are rolling out higher-end x86 server chips, the Intel's Itanium has lost its edge in the marketplace for high performance computing. So says a Microsoft senior technical manager in a blog post explaining why the software giant will end support for Itanium, which had been Intel's answer to RISC-based servers.

Days after Intel and Advanced Micro Devices launched new high-end x86 chips that drive the architecture higher up the server chain, Microsoft officials announced they are ending support for Intel's Itanium chip in their server software.

In an April 2 post on the Windows Server blog, Dan Reger, a Microsoft senior technical product manager, said the capabilities Intel and AMD put into their latest high-end server chips—and OEM interest in putting these processors in four- and eight-socket servers—essentially have made the Itanium architecture superfluous.

"Why the change? The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit ('x64') architecture has led to the creation of processors and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability needed for today's 'mission-critical' workloads,'" Reger wrote. "Just this week, both Intel and AMD have released new high core-count processors, and servers with eight or more x64 processors have now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers. Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on the horizon."

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