cribb writes "Some fascinating stuff is going on over at the IDF. Ever since the first sneak previews of the Opteron, there has been lots of uncertainty around its future, and that of AMD. AMD have bet everything on the success of their new 64-bit CPU, and with Microsoft severely delaying the release of a 64-bit Windows, and Intel complaining that 64-bit processing has no place in the desktop market, things were starting to look dim for AMD. However, after rumours around the 64-bit extensions of the Pentium 4 EE, it became clear that Intel is not willing to lag behind AMD in the 'innovation' department. Now comes the shocker: Intel boss Craig Barrett today anounced that Xeon-class 64-bit server CPUs codenamed Nocona will be coming out the second half of 2004. It isn't clear whether they will support AMD's Opteron AMD64 extensions. Barrett is quoted saying, 'There will be one operating system that will support all (64-bit) extended systems.' Maybe 64-bit computing is right around the corner after all, and we may even see compatible instruction sets from Intel and AMD! And does this mean that Intel will be dumping Itanium, which never caught on as expected in the server market, and forget the billions spent on developing it?" See some other articles at EE Times, and EWeek.