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Itanium is Intel’s first microchip (microprocessor) family based on 64-bit architecture. It is commonly used in high-end workstations and enterprise servers. The underlying architecture of Itanium is called IA-64.
Initially developed by Hewlett Packard (HP), Itanium later became a joint venture between HP and Intel, as HP determined that it was not cost-effective for them to be developing microprocessors.
Itanium not only provides access to very large memory (VLM), but it also uses a smart compiler to improve how commands are sent to the processor. This greatly reduced processing time and hence enhanced the chip's performance. Itanium is able to process two sets of information out of three with a 64-bit processor, whereas in 32-bit microprocessors the information is decoded before being used by the 64-bit processor, hence utilizing an extra clock cycle. Itanium is widely used for driving large-scale applications that run on more than 4GB of RAM memory, such as Web servers, enterprise resource planning (ERP), databases, high-end operating systems and Internet routers.