Itanium Chip Written Off By Oracle

Mar 23, 2011, 16:27 by Greg Stacy

The Itanium chip developed by Intel will no longer play a role in technology developed by Oracle, Oracle announced today in a move that apparently surprised both Intel and its partner Hewlett-Packard Co.

Oracle's announcement has attracted a lot of attention, reports. So has the public bickering between Oracle, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

Oracle said that the company had reached its decision regarding the Itanium chip "after multiple conversations with Intel senior management," in which it became clear that "their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life."

Intel and H-P have both put a lot of resources into developing Itanium over the years, and Intel took issue with Oracle's statement when it was released late Tuesday.

"As a result of recent announcements from Oracle, Intel is taking this opportunity to directly reiterate its plans for the Itanium processor," Intel said in its own statement.

Intel added that its "work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule."

H-P also disagreed with Oracle. Bill Wohl, H-P�s spokesman, wrote on his Twitter feed that Oracle�s "Itanium move penalizes customers as Oracle makes [a] crude attempt to shore up [its] failing Sun server business."

Soon after, Hewlett-Packard released a statement, adding that, "We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit to limit fair competition."

Last year Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems, drawing Oracle into direct competition with H-P and other hardware companies.

"It is clear that Oracle customers are voting with their purchasing decisions against the Sun platform," H-P said. "This latest Oracle action of disinformation is clearly an attempt to force customers into purchasing Sun servers."

Oracle pointed out that some other major companies, such as Microsoft,  have also stopped developing software for Itanium. Intel countered by saying that the new version of the processor, known as Poulson, is proof of Intel's commitment to Itanium.