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The Itanium Chip Finds a Champion & Possible Savior
Called Secure64, the Company's Still in Stealth Mode

The guy who was principal architect of HP's PA-RISC chip as well as the PA-Wide Word widgetry that underlies the Itanium chip has gotten together with the guy who co-developed the original data compression technology for the Internet to start a company to develop 64-bit software for the widely despised Itanium.

It's called the Secure64 Software Corporation and it says it's got core patent-pending technology that will improve the security and performance of network communications. So much so that newfangled Itanium-based edge computers could become virus attack dogs, the bane of hackers everywhere and Hollywood's hero.

The company's widgetry is supposed to solve some of the performance overhead and security limitations created by general-purpose operating systems like Windows, Unix and Linux and standard hardware technologies by exploiting the capabilities of the Itanium chip. Secure64 claims it will solve these problems - while moving greater amounts of application processing from centralized data centers to network servers - without disrupting the existing network infrastructure.

Secure64's products won't be out until late summer so it's still in stealth mode; beta customers are due a drop by the end of the quarter. Apparently the start-up's been working on the stuff since 2002; it's also reportedly working with Intel and HP on how to package and distribute it.

Three of the patents the Englewood, Colorado company's got in the pipe cover a stripped-down, operating system-replacing, extensible application environment and a network communications architecture.

The widgetry, which would apparently require new applications programs to work, is supposed to exploit the Itanium's unique parallelism and compartmentalization. Protection IDs and memory access controls are supposed to provide the highest level of security for network communications. Network performance is supposed to get a boost from the Itanium's large register sets as well as its high instruction-level parallelism. The boost could potentially be as much as 20x on web workloads and a 100x cost-savings on transactions.

Machines that run Secure64 software could also be partitioned to run conventional operating systems. Secure64 CEO Peter Cranstone, the data compression developer, confidently told the Wall Street Journal that with his technology the Itanium will ultimately "end up on the desktop."

Secure64 is bootstrapping its existence and has assembled an otherwise pricey, well-pedigreed management team including chairman Denny Georg, a former HP CTO; president Steve Goodbarn, a former CFO of Janus Capital; CTO Bill Worley, the retired HP Fellow and chief scientist responsible for the PA-RISC; VP, sales and marketing Domenic Gianfrancesco, a graduate of Access Graphics among others; and VP product delivery Joe Gersch, a HP R&D veteran of OpenView, Smart Card Center, enterprise networking and security, engineering workstations, tape storage and HP-UX.

The start-up's also got an advisory board that includes Sun veteran Larry Hambly and HP veteran Rajiv Gupta.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Rajiv Gupta has a long history, since the days of e-speak, of being ahead of his time. Often much too far ahead.




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