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Software Addition To Enhance Capability Of Itanium

News Release


Intel Corporation has announced the availability of IA-32 Execution Layer (EL) software for systems powered by the Intel® Itanium® 2 processor running Microsoft Windows* operating systems. The technology provides greater flexibility for customers by increasing the performance of many 32-bit software applications and facilitating customer migration to Itanium 2-based platforms running Windows.

“While CIOs demand the reliability, scalability, world-class performance and memory addressability features that the Itanium 2 processor offers, some still wish to run legacy 32-bit applications, and this technology improves that capability without sacrificing their primary goals,” said Mike Fister, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Platforms Group. “Though Itanium architecture-based processors have always supported 32-bit applications, this new approach enhances the performance and provides greater flexibility for future updates and scalability.”

IA-32 EL is supported in Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for 64-Bit Itanium-based Systems; Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition for 64-Bit Itanium-based Systems; and Windows XP 64-Bit Edition. The software is available for download at

"Microsoft has worked with Intel to make the IA-32 Execution Layer available to Windows users running Intel Itanium 2 systems,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Windows Server Division, Microsoft Corp. “The EL enhancement will be of great help to customers who are primarily running 64-bit applications, but also have a need to run 32-bit supporting software. This enhanced capability will help customers in their decision to deploy 64-bit Windows for their end-to-end enterprise computing needs.”

IA-32 EL is a software package integrated with the operating system. Itanium 2 processors provide support for 32-bit applications using on-die hardware; however, with IA-32 EL, support for IA-32 applications will be carried out in software. After installation, execution of the 32-bit applications is transparently run using IA-32 EL. At run time, the IA-32 Execution Layer translates the IA-32 application code into native Itanium architecture code and allows it to run as native code.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor boasts record-setting performance and the availability of more than 1,000 applications. In the past year, the mix of customers buying Itanium architecture-based systems has evolved to enterprise customers from its historical ranks of high-performance/scientific users. Currently, 14 of the top 25 Global 500 companies have deployed or are evaluating the architecture.

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

Intel, the Intel logo, and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.


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