Intel has delayed by months the release of the next three major versions of the Itanium processor, a new blow for the processor family. But the chipmaker also plans a change it said will boost the performance of its more widely used Xeon line.
The next Itanium, a major revision code-named Montecito, recently had been scheduled for debut this year, holding volume production until the first quarter of 2006 so the chipmaker can address quality problems. Now, however, it will debut in mid-2006. Its successor, "Montvale," was pushed from late 2006 to 2007, and the next major redesign, "Tukwila," was pushed from 2007 to 2008.
This is a blow for Intel, that a few years ago hailed Itanium as a major breakthrough, but has since only found a small niche server market for it. This could play into AMD's hands as they continue to ramp products and production. If Intel can fight effectively with its new Xeon line, that could prove their best defence in the short term.
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