AMD pays company to say Intel is bad, Itanium rev spells trouble for vendors, and much more

In today's roundup of enterprise HPC news we find AMD paying an analysis firm for a study saying Intel's EU monopoly practices are bad, the Itanium ecosystem floundering as it waits for 2009 to get here, PathScale compilers moving in at SiCortex, and Cray losing money.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from the recent enterprise HPC news stream as reported at

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Intel’s Itanium ecosystem threatened by poor execution on Montvale

Intel has announced details of Montvale, its next Itanium 2 rev, and it’s not pretty. You basically get 0.06Ghz speed bump, advanced power management, and a 25% faster frontside bus. The next bump isn't until 2009, when products based upon the four core Itanium (codenamed Tukwila) start shipping.

HP, SGI, Bull and others are in for a long ride if they’re going to try and ride their Itanium businesses profitably in the next year. Companies in the Itanium ecosystem are going to have a tough marketing challenge as they compete for new business against Power6 today and 16-core Rock processors from Sun next year. (More on this HPC news item)

Cray posts Q2 loss

This isn’t enterprise HPC, so briefly:

The grand old man of HPC announced results for Q2 yesterday. Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was down substantially to $26.6M from $38.5M in the prior year. Net loss was $6.4M.

(More on this HPC news item)

AMD pays company to say Intel is bad

AMD released a press release today headlined thus:

New Economic Study Finds Intel Extracted Monopoly Profits of $60 Billion Since 1996

You’ll recall that the EU has raised questions about Intel’s monopoly pricing policies with customers in Europe.

The release is here, but you probably shouldn’t read it. Why? If you read the release you’ll find that the study was completed by the ERS Group (no problem, they seem to be smart folks) and that AMD paid them for it (bingo)

The ERS Group, an economic and financial consulting firm retained by AMD’s outside counsel, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, specializes in analyses for complex business litigation.

(More on this HPC news item)

PathScale compilers move in at new HPC vendor SiCortex

SiCortex announced on Wednesday that they’ve acquired the PathScale compiler technology and team from QLogic. The move will certainly stabilize the MIPS side of this well-regarded compiler technology (SiCortex builds machines from MIPS processors), and the company has told customers that the X86-64 side is OK as well.

“The PathScale compiler suite is highly valued by a number of our customers in underpinning their investment in Streamline’s Linux Cluster Solutions,” says John Taylor, CTO of Streamline Computing. “We welcome the news that this technology is to be developed further in support of X86/64-based architectures, as well as being used by SiCortex for their innovative high-processor-count solution. We look forward to continued interaction with the PathScale compiler team.”

SiCortex has engineered its Linux-based supercomputer from the ground up for very lower power and high network throughput, making it of potential high value in the enterprise.

(More on this enterprise HPC news item)

John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld. You can contact him at