With the arrival of Linux 6.7, the mainstream Linux kernel will stop supporting Intel Itanium (IA-64) processors.
In fact, Linux support for Itanium has been in decline in recent years, with no active users and no active major contributors maintaining the Itanium code and making significant improvements to it.
Linux 6.6, which will be released this year, is a long-term support (LTS) kernel version, so itanium code will still be supported. However, it was recently proposed and accepted to remove Itanium from Linux 6.7.
Since the IA-64 kernel code has not been maintained for a long time, and no one is willing to continue to maintain it in the future, Linux 6.7 has removed 65,000 lines of code.
The asm-generic pull has now cleared all IA-64 architecture support, contributing to its “well-earned retirement”. So, if you need to use IA-64 hardware, you should stick to the Linux 6.6 LTS version.
Popular Science: IA-64 is the Intel Itanium architecture, which is the instruction set architecture (ISA) used by Intel’s 64-bit Itanium series processors. This basic set of ISA specifications originated from HP and was later implemented in collaboration with Intel.
IA is the abbreviation of Intel Architecture, and 64 refers to 64-bit system. CPUs using this architecture include Itanium and Itanium 2. This architecture is incompatible with x86 and x86-64, and systems and software require IA-64-specific versions.
The first Itanium processor core was codenamed Merced and was released in 2001. As of 2008, Itanium ranks fourth among all deployed enterprises and systems, behind x86-64, Power and SPARC.
The latest Itanium processor is the Itanium 9700 “Kitson” processor released in 2017, which is based on the 32nm process. This processor is very similar to the Itanium 9500 “Poulson” processor released in 2012.
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