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Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of computer chips, has finally announced its dual-core Itanium 2 microprocessors, which were first showcased to public nearly two years ago. The code-named Montecito processors have been delayed numerous times and their specifications have been cut-down, still, Intel stresses that the new chips consume less power than predecessors, yet, deliver much higher performance.

“Intel remains focused on removing the proprietary shackles that remain in the high-end of the server market segment, and with dual-core Itanium 2 processors we are delivering unprecedented IT freedom with a product that excels in performance, reliability and improved energy efficiency,” said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager, Intel’s digital enterprise group.

Intel Itanium 2 processors 9000-series with two processing engines supports Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, the company’s virtualization technology along with Intel cache safe technology, which prevents errors in the level-three (L3) cache. Originally, Intel planned to include Foxton technology, which would boost clock-speeds of the chips when necessary, but eventually dropped the idea. The new dual-core 64-bit chips have special “arbiter” bus that manages how the two cores collaborate between themselves, how they utilise their processor system bus and the L3 cache.

The new Itanium 2 9000-series consists of six processors, five of which are dual-core chips. All of the microprocessors are compatible with IA64 infrastructure that supports 400MHz or 533MHz quad pumped processor bus, meaning that system integrators may start equipping their mission-critical enterprise-class machines with the new central processing units straight away. The new processors have thermal design power (TDP) of up to 104W, by contrast, previous-generation Itanium 2 chips had TDP of up to 130W.

Specifications and pricing of the new Itanium 2 9000-series chips are as follows:

  • Intel Itanium 2 9050: two processing cores, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 24MB (12MB per core) L3 cache, 533MHz/400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $3692.
  • Intel Itanium 2 9040: two processing cores, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 18MB (9MB per core) L3 cache, 533MHz/400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $1980.
  • Intel Itanium 2 9030: two processing cores, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 8MB (4MB per core) L3 cache, 533MHz/400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $1552.
  • Intel Itanium 2 9020: two processing cores, 1.42GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 12MB (6MB per core) L3 cache, 533MHz/400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $910.
  • Intel Itanium 2 9015: two processing cores, 1.40GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 12MB (6MB per core) L3 cache, 400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $749.
  • Intel Itanium 2 9010: one processing core, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache, 533MHz/400MHz QPB. Pricing in 1000-unit quantities: $696.

Intel dual- and single-core Itanium 2 9000-series processors are shipping today with systems coming available in late August and growing throughout the year, Intel indicated.

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