Today, we'll be going over some of the details on a processor you've likely heard about, but are probably not familiar with: Intel's Itanium. Although we won't go into the actual architecture of the processor, today's history lesson will let us understand the role of this component, and allow us to see where Itanium stands as of now.
The whole concept of Itanium came up over 10 years ago when HP and Intel decided they needed to do something for the "big iron" servers and mainframes out there. Firstly, 64-bit addressing was becoming a necessary addition for memory. 4GB was the most memory that could be used with the 32bit processors Intel made at the time, and this was no longer sufficient outside of the desktop. Applications at that time had also started to be very data intensive, requiring huge amounts of bandwidth and processing power to execute.
(No, it wasn’t video games.)
These processors were intended for dynamic Internet-based interactions, complex computations, rich media processing, and object-oriented environments. This required computers that could scale anywhere from single CPU workstations to room sized server farms.
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