Intel and HP realised (quite rightly) that the 32 bit processors were running out of steam.

Together they jointly designed a chip called the Itanium which could run in both big endian and little endian mode to replace an HP chip and the ia32 architecture.

Unfortunately they did some major things wrong and it hasn't taken off:

  • not compatiable with ia32 - the assembler was similar but not the same and you couldn't run ia32 code
  • slower than ia32 - much slower originally but the gap is closing
  • expensive

This chip is also known as the ia64