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“Itanic” is an IT slang term for an Intel processor, or a set of processors, officially known as Itanium. Released in 2001, the first Itanium chip was not popular and was only made briefly. Successive editions had varying appeal within the industry.
Prior to the advent of the Itanium processor, Intel had been experimenting with Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) and its processing limits. After its release, engineers found that Itanium was not a lot better than other RISC or CISC computing systems. Intel sold only a few thousand of these processors on the market. A successor, Itanium 2, came out in 2002 and was mostly implemented on enterprise servers.
The Itanium chips had been in development for years, and were highly anticipated. Therefore, when their success was significantly less than anticipated, they were seen as a failure, hence the comparison with the sinking of the Titanic.
Itanium 2 improved a memory handling system widely criticized as inefficient and unoptimized. The Itanium 2 chip and subsequent releases gained prominence in enterprise server markets. However, critics of the recent Intel “Kittson” and “Poulson” chips suggest that these models are also not innovative enough and do not move the industry forward, bringing up again the derogatory epithet “Itanic.”