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In Q3 this year Intel is planning to undertake a number of measures to increase the popularity of the 64bit processor family aka Itanium 2. After the launch of AMD Opteron, a CPU with 64bit AMD 64 architecture aimed at relatively low-cost servers and workstations, Intel appeared unable to offer any alternative solution. Their Itanium 2 with IA64 architecture cost too much that is why it was targeted only for expensive 4- and 8-way servers. Now the situation has changed. Very soon Intel will announce Itanium 2 for dual-processor configurations, for better value servers and workstations costing from $4500.

The announcement of Itanium 2 for dual-processor servers is planned for Q3 2003. Our sources report that the major model of this family will be Itanium 2 based on the 0.13micron Madison core working at 1.4GHz clock frequency and featuring 1.5MB L3 cache. Besides, there will be one more product: Low Voltage Itanium 2 on Deerfield core intended for dual-processor configurations. It will work at 1.0GHz and feature 1.5MB L3 cache.

Dual-processor Itanium 2 CPUs will cost $1172 for a 1.4GHz version and $774 for the LV version working at 1.0GHz. This way, Itanium is little by little moving towards the price segment, which is now occupied only by Intel Xeon. In other words, IA64 architecture may become a real alternative to IA32 very soon.

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