Intel pledges 800MHz Itanium launch speed
So has it bypassed Merced with McKinley?
Intel said yesterday that its 64-bit Itanium processor will ship at 800MHz around the middle of the year. Last month, reliable sources told The Register that the desire to get Itanium out at 1GHz might well persuade Intel to skip Merced and go straight to McKinley. Certainly Merced seems to have been beset with problems, with even 600MHz proving difficult to attain. At the time, other sources suggested that long-time Itanium supporter Hewlett-Packard was trying to convince Intel that the chip would need to hit at least 800MHz to carry any with in the 64-bit CPU marketplace. Speaking at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, Gadi Singer, VP and general manager of Intel's IA-64 division, reiterated Intel's promise to ship the chip mid-2000, though again, it remains unclear whether this is a commitment to volume shipments or sampling of the shipping version of the chip. Singer said Itanium will contain 25 million transistors -- much of it devoted to the CPU's on-die Level 2 cache, we presume -- with 4MB of Level 3 cache in the chip's cartridge-enclosed daughtercard in a backside configuration. The chip's frontside bus will run at 266MHz. Other numbers trotted out by Singer include Itanium's capacity to support up to 512-way multi-processor servers, and a 6.4Gflop performance rating. ®
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