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Those of you who constantly read news concerning present and future Intel Itanium processors already know that code-named Montecito design scheduled to come in 2005 will have 2 cores. But was not known until now is that the follower of the Montecito presently known as Tanglewood will have as many as 16 cores, News.com reported quoting a source close to Intel Corp.!

Multi-core designs promise to become extremely popular within the next three to five years not only among server CPUs, but also among consumer desktop microprocessors, I believe. A number of cores allow chips to handle a number of threads at the same time, a feature that is supposed to become increasingly important nowadays. Intel is currently offering Hyper-Threading technology for that matter in Xeon and Pentium 4 CPUs, but with more and more complicated tasks a number of cores per chip will be required for successful and rapid operation.

IA64 roadmap has been showing exceptional performance growth since the introduction of the original Intel Itanium processor. It is very logical to expect Intel to continue introducing faster and faster 64-bit microprocessors throughout the decade. There are a number of ways to improve performance of CPUs, including clock-speed increase, addition of extra cores into design, overall architecture efficiency improvements as well as L1, L2 or L3 caches enhancements. According to what we know about future IA64 chips, the Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor giant will perform all the mentioned operations to address even the highest-end servers by its microprocessors with tangibly improved architecture.

As we know, next year Intel is set to launch its Madison 9M code-named processor with 9MB of L3 cache and clock-speed above 1.50GHz. In 2005 the company will launch its Montecito core made using 90nm fabrication process and featuring 2 cores as well as 18MB of L3 cache. In 2006 or 2007 Intel is expected to release Tanglewood, the monster with up to 16 cores, a lot of cache memory and a high clock-speed. The core may be as advanced as next-generation IBM’s Power or Sun’s UltraSparc microprocessors or even faster, I suppose.

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