EETimes is reporting that Intel has withdrawn its paper on McKinley from the ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference). The speculation is that Itanium’s delay may also be affecting McKinley.
Linley Gwennap speculates on processors and operating systems in the server market in an editorial entitled “One World, One Processor?” (reprinted from the November 2000 Linux Journal).
One of the great advantages of Linux is that it runs on practically any processor you can find. Most competing flavors of Unix are limited to a single CPU architecture. But in the server world, processor choices are diminishing. While this may not hurt Linux, it certainly doesn’t help.
These changes have been driven by Intel, which would love to turn the server market into a clone of the PC market, with hundreds of vendors selling similar systems based on Intel silicon. Although far more PCs than servers are sold each year, the revenue from these two markets is actually similar, as servers are much more expensive. And profit margins on servers are much higher than for PCs. So if Intel can grab its typical share of those profits (that is, most of them), it would be a great coup for the company.
AMD’s entry into the server market should only bolster the already well-entrenched x86 platform. He concludes by saying this convergence benefits Microsoft and hurts Linux. You may not entirely agree with him but he makes some good points.