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Intel Itanium to launch 29 May

No more 'pilot programme' stuff

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Intel will officially launch Itanium on 29 May, according to sources close to one of the chip giant's customers.

Interestingly, Foster, the Pentium 4-based revision to the Xeon server processor family, will be launched on the same day. Foster was to have been launched today, but Intel delayed it to the end of the month because of a problem with the chip's in-system packaging.

We wonder if Itanium was to be have been launched today too. That might explain IBM UK's announcement last week that it's going to launch Foster and Itanium-based systems, the M- and Z-Pro Intellistation machines, on 10 May. That would time IBM's event just after Intel's main Foster launch.

IBM will apparently roll-out a dual-processor M-Pro workstation, based on two 1.7GHz Xeons - Intel is dropping the 'P' word - and the Z-Pro, an Itanium-based box powered by two 800MHz chips. We hear there's also a uni-processor Xeon M-Pro box based on a 1.4GHz part. The Xeon machines use Intel 860 mobos. The Itanium system will, we reckon, be based on an Intel 460GX motherboard with 4MB of L3 cache.

IBM has already been demo'ing the boxes, running 64-bit Windows XP on the Itanium machine. The OS was described as "quite stable" by our correspondent.

Sources who've seen IBM's boxes tell us the company is claiming it will ship them on 29 May, at an Intel Itanium 'coming out' (in the tradition sense...) party, by the sounds of it.

Itanium has, of course, been doing the rounds for a while now, under Intel's IA-64 pilot programme. We imagine the 29 May event will mark its official entry into the product line. ®

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