What does the 64-bit hardware landscape look like today, 18 months after AMD introduced the first x86 processor? On September 8th, at the Intel Developer Forum, Abhi Talkwalkar, general manager of Intel’s Enterprise Platform Group acknowledged that Itanium sales are not meeting the “aggressive” levels that Intel had set. By contrast, the Opteron market has exploded: AMD shipped 2,700 of them in the second quarter of 2003, and 60,000 in the same quarter of this year. They announced a new production facility in
Intel announced this past February that it would be providing processors compatible with the x64 standard that AMD had devised, and you can already buy those processors in either the Pentium or Xeon brands in systems from Dell, and HP and IBM also ship units with Intel x64 processors. Yet, there is still an important difference between the Intel x64 processors and the AMD Opterons and Athlon 64’s. Remember me writing about how the Opteron optimizes access to memory by having the memory controllers built right into the processor? Well, the AMD 64-bit processors are the only ones to have that feature. Intel has chosen to retain the memory controllers on the
In summary, we have Itaniums steadily dominating the top 11% of the market, with the x64 phenomenon quickly taking over the rest.