Sledgehammer sampling?

Could this be correct? JC doesn't think so, and I can see why not. Nevertheless, the article has some interesting tidbits about plans for 64-bit processors from Intel and AMD, including this tasty morsel:
According to rumours, and we stress there is no hard evidence for this as yet, within the community of chip architects in Silicon Valley last week, Intel is readying an alternative 64-bit platform in case it is forced by circumstances to follow AMD's strategy.

That work may be carried out by the group of Intel architects in Oregon who worked on the Willamette platform. As we have reported here previously, there is little love lost between that team and the Santa Clara based team which developed the Merced-Itanium platform.

Surely not! Right?

Update: The Register is now reporting that Compaq and some other manufacturers will introduce 64-bit servers based on the AMD "Sledgehammer" soon—possibly before year's end. If true, this could be quite the coup for AMD.

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