More mainland firms tipped to use Itanium

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, 12:00am

Itanium Solutions Alliance, a global community of hardware, operating systems and applications vendors led by Intel Corp and founded in September 2005, expects more and higher-performance-computer (HPC) users in the mainland to favour Intel Itanium architecture over products from IBM and Sun Microsystems.

IBM's performance-optimisation-with-enhanced-RISC or reduced instruction set computer (Power) is a computer processor unit design philosophy that favours an instruction set reduced both in size and complexity of addressing modes. Sun Microsystems' equivalent products use scalable-processor-architecture (Sparc).

'A lot of customers in mainland China have deployed Itanium-based solution, an open architecture that allows adding, upgrading and swapping components,' said Eddie Toh, chairman of the Itanium Solutions Alliance in Asia-Pacific region. Globally, such users total 12,000.

Itanium-based systems revenue, which amounted to 59 per cent that of Sparc and 57 per cent of Power sales in the first-half, rose 30 per cent from a year ago, according to International Data Centre.

In the mainland, revenue from Itanium-based systems totalled about US$50 million last year and 5 per cent of global market share.

That amount represented 66 per cent of Sparc sales and 30 per cent of Power revenue.

'The mainland is a key market for Itanium products while Korea, Japan and India are also fast-growing markets,' Mr Toh said.

An HPC, with as many as 128 units of central processing units, can be used in industries such as telecoms, energy and health care.

'In oil exploration, an oil company may have to take data in the site and analyse it by an HPC before drilling,' said Mr Toh.

'Using an HPC, a medical researcher can also simulate how a virus reacts to a drug.

'We want to offer a different option for customers in the HPC market, which is traditionally dominated by Sparc and Power systems. With HPC, a user had more choices, he noted.

Gaining favour

Itanium offers a new option for customers in the HPC market

Last year's mainland revenue from Itanium-based solutions, in US$: $50m