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By | Ashlee Vance 25th October 2005 21:04

St. Fister cured of Itanic wickedness

The final miracle

The fourth and likely last Itanic miracle has occurred with St. Fister – he of the blessed hand – being cured of all the chip’s wickedness and beastly impulses.

Mike Fister once worked as Intel’s server processor chief. In this role, he managed to make Itanium processor hatred disappear with but a wave of his arm and a disarming guffaw. St. Fister’s powers were so prolific that he healed a student and two analysts. The chaps once despised Intel’s 64-bit chip but grew to love it - in an instant.

Now, as CEO of Cadence, it seems that St. Fister has been removed of his powers and instead infected by the gospel of IBM and Sun Microsystems – both Itanic haters.

During a presentation today at the Fall Processor Forum in San Jose, the miracle occurred in front of a room full of unsuspecting chip engineers.

“We use a supercomputer . . . with IBM technology of all things,” St. Fister confessed.

Gasp! The RISC lords have spoken! St. Fister has been touched by Power.

With this revelation behind him, St. Fister went on to demonstrate Cadence’s design tools working to improve Sun server performance. Oh, how Sun could have used such power when Fister’s Itanium was busy crushing an UltraSPARC IIi chip.

Fister’s miracle is unique in that he turned on Itanic, while the others embraced it. Berkeley student graduate student Nick Weaver despised Itanic one day and then loved it the next. Former Merrill Lynch star analyst and hardware god Steve Milunovich also rejected Itanium’s costly ways once only to pronounce it an “industry standard” a few months later. The Loon surely was overcome by visions, as no one clear of St. Fister’s possession would dub the Itanic a standard of anything but failure. And the last healing occurred when analyst Joe Clabby declared Itanic a smashing success – in 2003!

Yesterday, however, Intel may have sealed Itanium’s fate by delaying the dual-core Montecito chip until mid-2006 because of mysterious “quality” concerns. Can HP and SGI survive on the massive Madison processor until then? Only if they too are blessed by a miracle.

It’s great to see that St. Fister – he who pushed Itanic hardware than anyone else – can embrace competing products with such open arms. Forgiveness is meant to be a virtue. ®

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