Itanium Delayed Again While Intel Improves It

It's hard to say if there is anything to this, but it's certainly interesting at the very least. For years now, Intel has been notoriously good at shipping its products on time. If Intel says a chip is coming in a certain quarter in a certain year, it'll be there. On the other hand, AMD has been the polar opposite; year after year, the chip maker has announced delay after delay, spoiling even the hopes of diehard fanatics.

Now, however, the tables seem to be turning, albeit slightly. While Intel's dealing with a $1.45 billion fine, Advanced Micro Devices is enjoying the success of its Neo platform and finally holding its head up high. Furthermore, Intel is now delaying a chip of its own -- for the second time. If you'll recall, its next generation Itanium chip line was originally scheduled to launch in early 2009, and now that said time window has come and gone, we're hearing of yet another setback. Now, Intel is saying that Tukwila won't hit the market until Q1 2010, and we're beginning to wonder how serious it is even about that.

Still, Intel's spinning this in a way that makes it seem at least somewhat responsible here. In a statement, the company said that "during final system-level testing, we identified an opportunity to further enhance application scalability." In other words, we're being forced to wait because Intel is improving upon the product. Sure, that sounds fantastic, but it can only work in the court of public opinion for so long. Meanwhile, AMD's taking the opportunity to boast about the early release of Istanbul -- got to love the rival instinct, don't you?