Intel is planning on improving the performance per core on future Itaniums, which should be evident in the next generation part codenamed Tukwila. While we're all for making sure each core runs efficiently, it seems a bit strange that this would be a major concern for Itanium R&D people like Cameron McNair. Most people would probably associate Itanium with server clusters and either highly scalable software or large user environments that require lots of resources.
Apparently McNair says that there are other processing needs of Itanium customers a well:
"There are some workloads that you just need to have single-core performance in order to carry and to get the job done, and those are the kinds of things we are targeting," he said. "Not everything can scale and, truth be told, if you don't address the single-core performance segment, you're going to miss out on some opportunities."
We're expecting Tukwila to offer even more performance for multi-threaded applications than Montecito, the current dual-core Itanium 2, but it's nice to know that each core will likely have a higher IPC as well.