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Intel today released two new Itanium 2 chips for dual-processor servers and workstations. The move will increase performance of 2P IA64 applications by up to 25%.

Two new Itanium 2 processors are based on Deerfield core, contain 3MB L3 cache and operate at 1.40GHz and 1.60GHz speed bins. The chips will broaden the existing family of IA64 microprocessors designed for 2-way servers or workstations, such as 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.

“The Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 3MB of cache improves the performance up to 25% over the Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 1.5 MB of cache,” Intel said.

Today’s announcement was a rather unexpected one, as originally Intel planned to offer cut-down versions of its forthcoming Itanium 2 “Madison” for 2P applications – code-named Fanwood chips with 3MB L3 cache – in the third quarter of the year at 1.60GHz and 1.20GHz (low voltage version) speeds.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.40 GHz with 3MB of L3 cache is available for $1172 in 1000-unit quantities. The Intel Itanium 2 processor at 1.60 GHz with 3MB of L3 cache will be available for $2408 in 1000-unit quantities in May.

New dual processor systems are available from a variety of system manufacturers including Bull, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HCL, IBM, Kraftway, Lenovo, Maxdata, Samsung, and Transtec AG. Entry level systems start at $2100 while fully configured systems with the new processors will be available for approximately $8000, according to Intel.

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