Since we initially launched this blog talking about 64-bit computing, I thought I’d do one more post before the weekend that’s before the BIG weekend.

Out of yesterday’s gathering for vendor execs who care about Itanium (yes, Microsoft was in the house), CNet reported the following:

Intel’s forthcoming “Montecito” member of the Itanium processor family will consume 100 watts, a significant drop from the 130 watts of current models and an advantage in an era when power consumption is a top enemy. … The change means Itanium will have about 2.5 times the performance per watt of the current Itanium 2 9M model.

This is a big deal, especially in the UK and Europe where power consumption and thermals are factored into customers’ server purchase decisions.

“A 100-watt envelope for 1.7 billion transistors–that’s a heck of a deal,” said Microprocessor Report Editor in Chief Kevin Krewell. “Performance per watt is becoming a more critical metric.”

This paper reinforces Krewell’s comment about the critical nature of performance per watt.

So could performance-per-watt become a selling point for the next-generation Itanium systems? Heck, if that issue alone helps the OEMs sell 10,000 more Itanium-based systems in 2007, that’d be an unheard of 20%-25% or so growth for Itanium. Until then, we’ll have to focus on more pressing matters.