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Intel Corp. on Wednesday officially took the wraps off the new family of dual-core microprocessors code-named Montvale. The new chips sport features to improve reliability of mission critical servers, lower power consumption as well as improve performance in certain cases.

“The Itanium ecosystem continues to grow as customers choose industry standard platforms supported by leading system OEMs that provide them with the broadest choice of applications,” said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager, Intel’s digital enterprise group.

The new dual-core Intel Itanium processors 9100-series are made using proven 90nm process technology and operate in the same clock-speed range as their predecessors released in mid-2006. There are three key features of the new Montvale chips, which are not available on other Intel Itanium processors: 667MHz 128-bit processor system bus (PSB), Demand Based Switching (DBS) technology that reduces server power consumption during low utilization periods and a new feature called Core Level Lock-Step that improves the data integrity and reliability of applications by eliminating undetected errors in the core.

Core Level Lock-Step joins existing Socket Level Lock-Step technology to deliver greater reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) by guaranteeing that calculation results are consistent among the cores and sockets, Intel said. It should be noted, however, that microprocessors with core level lock-step will use 400MHz or 533MHz PSB and will be relatively rare initially.

The new dual-core Intel Itanium processors have thermal design power of 104W.

All server-maker members of the Itanium Solutions Alliance (ISA) will launch new Dual-Core Intel Itanium Processor 9100 series-based products, including Bull, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Hitachi, Intel, NEC, SGI and Unisys.

Six Intel dual-core and a single-core Itanium 9100 series processors are shipping today, with prices ranging from $696 to $3692 depending on order volume, features and performance. Parts supporting Core level Lock-Step will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2008.

Specifications and pricing of the new Itanium 9100-series chips are as follows:

  • Intel Itanium 9150M: two processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.66GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 24MB (12MB per core) L3 cache, 667MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $3692.
  • Intel Itanium 9150N: two processing cores, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 24MB (12MB per core) L3 cache, 400/533MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $3692.
  • Intel Itanium 9140M: two processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.66GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 18MB (9MB per core) L3 cache, 667MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $1980.
  • Intel Itanium 9140N: two processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 18MB (9MB per core) L3 cache, 400/533MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $1980.
  • Intel Itanium 9120N: two processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.42GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 12MB (6MB per core) L3 cache, 400/533MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $910.
  • Intel Itanium 9130M: two processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.66GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 8MB (4MB per core) L3 cache, 667MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $1552.
  • Intel Itanium 9110N: one processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 1.60GHz, 16KB (data) +16KB (instructions) L1 cache, 256KB (data) + 1MB (instructions) L2 cache, 12MB L3 cache, 667MHz QPB. Pricing in business quantities: $696.

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