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Intel is preparing a rather surprising move to substantially strengthen performance of Itanium 2 processors for DP applications. Without waiting for the Fanwood chips to arrive in the third quarter, the chip giant will roll-out new IA64 chips with 3MB cache already next quarter.

Santa Clara, California-based corporation is currently shipping two Itanium 2 flavours for 2-way applications: Itanium 2 chip at 1.40GHz with a 1.5MB L3 cache and the Low Voltage Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.0GHz with a 1.5MB L3 cache, which consumes approximately 62W – half the power of other existing Itanium 2 processors. Such microprocessors are suitable for technical and scientific computing systems; various clusters; entry-level, front-end enterprise systems as well as network edge and software engineering workstations.

To strengthen the current DP IA64 offerings, Intel had planned to introduce cut-down versions of its forthcoming Itanium 2 “Madison” – code-named Fanwood chips with 3MB L3 cache – in the third quarter of the year. However, according to the company’s latest plans, there will be two new DP Itanium 2 “Deerfield” processors with a 3MB L3 cache at 1.40GHz and 1.60GHz speed bins available already in the second quarter! CPUs with Fanwood core and 3MB L3 cache are expected to hit the market in the third quarter at 1.60GHz and 1.20GHz (low voltage version) speeds.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.60GHz with 3MB of L3 cache and the Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.40GHz with 3MB of L3 will be quoted at $2408 and $1172 in 1000-unit quantities, respectively.

Representatives for Intel Corporation did not comment on the news-story.

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