[Linux-IA64] Itanium gets supercomputer software

Mikhail Kuzminsky kus at free.net
Mon Jul 23 12:44:16 EDT 2012


>From: David Mosberger <davidm at napali.hpl.hp.com>
>  Duraid> You and I both know the only real barrier to Itanium
>  Duraid> adoption is the price. Can anyone here shed some light on
>  Duraid> this? Why is Itanium hardware still so expensive?

>Remember that Intel is targeting Itanium 2 against Power4 and SPARC.
>In that space, the price of Itanium 2 is very competitive.

 It's absolutely right. But after start of AMD Opteron producing
the situation may cahnge. Opteron will have much more slow performance
but much more better price/performance ratio (and the same problem
w.absence of 64-bit software ;-)). In the case of Opteron success
Intel will do the choice: a) to realize "Plan B" (extend x86 to 64 bit
in some new chip(s)), what has, unfortunately (I like RISC&IA-64
architecture) serious probability (by my opinion), or
b) to change price/perforamnce situation drastically - by means
of Deerfield. I'll be happy if the last way (b) will be realized.
(of course, it's possible to have choice c) - to ignore x86-64 :-)).

BTW, do somebody know something about *real* IPC (instructions per
count) values obtained for some programs w/Itanium 2 and Power4 ?
Taking into account extensive out-of-order execution of groups
of instructions in Power4 it's not clear for me which IPC is
higher (theoretical limit for It2 is 6, for Power4 is 5).

>From: Duraid Madina <duraid at octopus.com.au>
>David Mosberger wrote:
>> Remember that Intel is targeting Itanium 2 against Power4 and SPARC.
>> In that space, the price of Itanium 2 is very competitive.
>OK, I want to be clear on this. I asked why Itanium hardware is still so 
>expensive. Your answer seems to be marketing speak for "The prices are 
>still high because we are _happy_ selling small quantities of this 
>equipment to people used to paying through the nose for good quality 
>hardware." Is this correct?
>Can I then conclude that Intel has not yet had any interest whatsoever 
>in driving IA64 into the realm of reasonble prices? It's sad to see so 
>much work being put into this Linux port when, if things remain as they 
>are, it will hardly be used.
  It looks that there is some "gentleman's" agreement between Intel
and companies, manufacturing IA64-based systems, about "price increase".
It may be "not official", but I'm sure that it's reality. It's typical
for companies working on market of expensive, mainly RISC-based servers.
I understand that Intal do not want to destroy this "approach" and
initial agreements :-( But we should also take into account
the real cost price for Intel. Do somebody know which it's ? 
It depends mainly from die size but we don't know also percent of
good chips.

From: Matt Chapman <matthewc at cse.unsw.edu.au>
>> Can I then conclude that Intel has not yet had any interest whatsoever 
>> in driving IA64 into the realm of reasonble prices?

>My understanding is that Deerfield will be targeted at the lower cost
>market, though I haven't seen much info about it recently.
  In my last talks w/Intel staff they confirmed me that Deerfield
will be oriented in particular to clusters market. Taking into
account that Madison will arrive something about summer of current year,
Deerfiled will be available, by my estiamtion, something at end of
2003. The main question will be, by my opinion, price/performance
ratio which is absolutly unclear now.

Mikhail Kuzminsky
Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
Moscow
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