The future of Intel and Hewlett-Packard?s relationship on future Merced technology took a knock today as it emerged that the chip is likely to be delayed until 1999.
An internal marketing document leaked by one of Intel?s customers shows that the introduction of Deschutes technology is now delayed beyond its original date of January 1998. Meanwhile, the 64-bit version of Microsoft's NT needed for the platform is also unlikely to emerge for beta testing until later this year, as its clustering technology Wolfpack has also slipped, sources say.
Intel foundries make the silicon for HP's current family of processors, PA, and HP is pushing hard for the chip giant to meet its agreed targets on Merced, but that looks increasingly unlikely. Instead, Intel will be forced to placate PC hardware vendors including IBM and Compaq, as their customers face major architectural changes through this year and next, by focusing on Deschutes before Merced.
One source at a major PC hardware vendor said: ?We?re not going to predict our server technologies that far ahead. There?s so much product coming along that it will only confuse our customers. We?re moving from Klamath to Deschutes and then from Deschutes Slot 1 to Deschutes Slot 2. Merced will have to be later than 1998 which is supposed to be the year for Deschutes, and you will have to give it a year?s run. We?ll see Merced in 1999.?
Klaus Armbruster, technology marketing manager at Hewlett-Packard, said 1999 was an optimistic target. ?Our plans depend on Merced being on plan but we?ve always said we?d have products before the year 2000. There?s a difference between when the chip is available and when they will be produced. We will introduce follow-ups to the 8200 family.?
But that will cause problems for Hewlett-Packard, another source said. ?I don?t know how Intel will achieve their targets for the rest of the industry. HP is using their foundry and they might get it [Merced] early if they have the clout with Intel. Previously HP managed to persuade Intel to do special versions, as with the P7a and P7b.?
Microsoft?s 64-bit version of NT is also delayed, according to another source close to Microsoft?s plans. ?We won?t see anything sensible in terms of a 64-bit OS from Microsoft until 1998,? he said. That is likely to force large multiprocessing players like Data General and Siemens to take their own proprietary route and introduce six-way and even eight-way and 12-way systems, based on current Pentium Pro technology. That will mean proprietary software from both DG with CC Numa and the projected Cbus II from Corollary, he said.
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