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Intel salutes Itanium with speed bump

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Intel has done its part to take care of the "sweet spot" of the Itanium market by releasing two new processors for two-way servers.

At IDF Taiwan, Intel unveiled a 1.4GHz Itanium 2 chip with 3MB of cache and a 1.6GHz chip with 3MB of cache. Intel expects the 1.4GHz product to be popular with customers looking to build server clusters and for the 1.6GHz product to make its way into general purpose dual-processor machines.

Intel has been selling a 1.4GHz chip with 1.5MB of cache for clusters and up to a 1.5GHz product for general purpose systems.

Itanic continues to have its struggles in the high-end processor market, although 2003 sales were a vast improvement over Intel's previous efforts. The dual-processor server market is the hottest area for Itanium, so the speed bumps should be appreciated by the small Itanic user base.

Along with the new chips, Intel worked to remind the public that Itanium will become cheaper over the next few years. By 2007, Intel expects Itanium to have better price/performance than Xeon. 2007 will be the year that Intel rolls out a common chipset for both Itanic and Xeon.

Intel is also expected to bring out new low voltage Itanium processors later this year.

Chris Kraeuter at CBS MarketWatch had a pretty stunning account of Intel's latest Itanium chips.

He noted that Intel rolled out new "dual processor chips," which must be like a four-processor four-way server. He also revealed that, "Intel has announced no plans to make Itaniums backward-compatible with 32-bit applications." This comes as a shock since Itaniums already are backward-compatible with 32-bit software, albeit not very impressively.

And, lastly, Kraeuter quoted a mysterious man named Mike Pfister - the head of Intel's faucet division. We've always found Intel's server processor chief St. Fister more compelling.

You can read the world-class CBS report here. And, if you think Kraefuter is new to the chip beat, think again.

Just remember, Chris, "There are no excuses for errors, regardless of how little time you have to write your stories." ®


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