Intel’s Itanium project proved to be a completely fruitless effort and that’s the polite way of not actually calling it a failure.
Even so, Oracle eventually gave up on trying to resist HP
and accepted that it would have to support the dreaded IA64 architecture for some more years to come.
When it was initially announced, Itanium was supposed to be the top performing CPU
in the world for decades to follow. The architecture was to bring new levels of performance, efficiency and reliability.
That never actually happened as plain x86 solutions were always just as powerful and as efficient as the Itanium, but those don’t require special operating systems and specially optimized software and have absolutely no performance loss in running legacy x86 software.
When compared with solutions like IBM’s Power architecture or Fujitsu’s SPARC64, Intel’s Itanium is again on the losing side and eventually the maker gave up on releasing new versions of the architecture.
The years have proven that Itanium actually has no reason for being and even Intel is accepting the situation.
HP is one of the world’s most important Itanium integrators and the company still has multi-annual governmental contracts that it must fulfill so the sudden death of Itanium will likely hit it very hard.
The company has apparently made a deal with Intel
to keep the Itanium development and upgrade going for a few more years, but Oracle got wind of the fact that it was working on developing software for a hardware platform with no future.
Seeing this, Oracle decided to blow the lid on the entire story and boldly announced that it wouldn’t develop any Itanium optimized software anymore despite having a contract with HP to do so.
The news today is not that Oracle has lost in court and now it is forced to continue Itanium software development as the company has even officially yielded to this and announced the continuation of development some weeks ago.
The interesting story development is the fact that the judge handling the case will reportedly
set a later date for a phase two of the trial that will analyze how and if HP
was damaged by Oracle’s past actions and if the latter has to pay any damages or remedies.